The Philippine government allowed Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) to partially operate amid the enhanced community quarantine implementation until May 15.
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo said 30% of workforce in POGOs would be allowed to report, provided that they should follow precautionary measures.
“Only 30% ng kanilang mga tauhan ang puwedeng pumasok. Skeletal din,” Domingo said.
(Only 30% of their employees could work. Also, the skeletal.)
“Kaya 30% lang ng manpower nila ang puwedeng mag-report, sapagkat mahigpit na mahigpit kami sa pagpapatupad noong social distancing using face masks, disinfection of their work areas every shift, and then also sila hindi puwedeng sumakay sa public transport or hindi pwedeng pumunta sa any public place,” she added.
(So only 30% of their manpower can report because we are strictly enforcing social distancing, using face masks, disinfection of their work areas every shift, and then also they cannot ride on public transport or go to any public place.)
POGOs are required to provide private buses that would transport workers from their homes to their workplace and vice versa. The workforce that would report should be living within the five-kilometer radius of the POGO firm.
POGOs now allowed to partially operate
Domingo added that around 60 POGO companies are expected to resume operations after validation and preparations.
“Formal notice sa kanila sa Monday but with all our strict requirements including testing for COVID-19,” Domingo said.
(The formal notice would be sent to them by Monday, but with all our strict requirements including testing for COVID-19.)
“‘Yung negative lang ang puwedeng pumasok at sila ay ite-test every 14 days,” she added.
(Those who tested negative could report to work, and they will be tested every 14 days.)
Domingo said there are about 90,000 Chinese nationals in the POGO industry, the majority of which are working in the BPO answering gaming-related calls.
“‘Yung POGO parang BPO ‘yan. Ang kliyente nila o mga manlalaro, nasa ibang bansa. Walang face-to-face,” she said.
(POGO is like BPO. Their clients or their gamers are abroad. There is no face-to-face.)
The PAGCOR chief further said that over 31,000 Filipinos are part of the POGO industry, which stopped operations upon the implementation of ECQ.
POGOs would be allowed to operate under the condition that all of its Filipino workers must be paid full salaries for April, even though they do not report for work.