Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators ordered to temporarily shut down all operations as of today
After it first seemed that POGOs (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) will be allowed to keep a minimum number of workers in their workplace, Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has now expanded the suspension of all gaming operations to cover the entire nation including online casinos.
As the Philippine government imposes more drastic measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19, POGO companies are included in the suspension and are to remain closed until further notice. This expansion came after the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) clarifying that POGOs are not among entities covered by the exemption provided to Business Process Outsourcing establishments.
First it was announced that POGOs will be treated like other Business Process Outsourcing establishments and export oriented industries that can still keep a so called skeletal workforce of 25% for basic operations. They must observe strict “social distancing measure,” and provide temporary accommodation arrangements to their workers within 24 hours.
On Tuesday night, cabinet secretary Karlo Nograles said "Philippine offshore gaming operators shall not be included in those establishments allowed to operate for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine."
The whole island of Luzon, was placed under an enhanced community quarantine which means strict home confinement in all households, suspension of transportation lines, regulation of provision for food and essential health services, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce isolation procedures.
SiGMA reached out to a number of operators based in Manila, most of whom are adapting well to the situation, equipping employees with the right facilities to run the business remotely from home.
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