BPO executive: We generate jobs for Filipinos, POGOs do not

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 4) - A business process outsourcing (BPO) company executive said that Philippine offshore gaming operators or POGOs cannot be considered part of the industry because they do not generate jobs and business in the Philippines.

Contact Center Association of the Philippines President Jojo Uligan told CNN Philippines that companies set up operations in the Philippines primarily to make use of local talent, generating jobs for Filipinos.

“POGOs, on the other hand, they bring all the work here, they also bring the people to work here, so they offshored the business and also offshored the people," Uligan said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

Uligan added that the two cannot be compared because they make use of very different dynamics and are covered by different rules.

BPOs are registered with the either the Philippine Economic Zone Authority or the Board of Investments, which fall under the Department of Trade and Industry, while POGOs get their license to operate from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

"POGOs are different, they're into gaming," Uligan said. "It's like utilizing technology for them to operate their business, because such business is prohibited in the country they are in, that's why they go to a country that will allow them to operate."

The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, or IBPAP, the umbrella industry group of BPOs, issued a statement on Saturday saying “POGOs cannot be considered as BPO.”

This in response to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque's announcement that POGOs were allowed to resume partial operations, as part of the BPO sector, which is allowed to open under the new quarantine rules.

READ: Gov't allows POGOs to partially reopen amid community quarantine

IBPAP also pointed out that BPO firms invest in Filipino workers while the great majority of workers in POGOs are said to be Chinese nationals who cater to gaming clients in the Chinese mainland.

Several lawmakers criticized the government's decision to ease the quarantine rules in favor of POGOs, despite their many violations.

Senators are investigating the mounting allegations of corruption, money laundering, and sex trafficking surrounding the POGO sector, while the Bureau of Internal Revenue revealed that over ₱27 billion worth of tax liabilities remain uncollected from POGO companies in the Philippines.