Relationships we have now are reshaping the world into a global village, says Andrea Domingo
Andrea Domingo kicks things off for the online segment of SiGMA Focus Asia digital conference.
“Relationships we have now are reshaping the world into a global village - we are not just a separate conglomeration of countries and states, and why? Because of tools like the internet and cyberspace - tools that we have shaped and that are now shaping us,” says chairperson of PAGCOR, Andrea Domingo.
She goes on to explain that PAGCOR revenue is redirected to the government and to social projects, including health care and that POGOs have an important role to play in terms of employment generation.
“Whatever PAGCOR earns, 75% goes back to the national government - we retain 25% for our social civic projects and for social civil projects for the President of the Philippines. It is also important because it shows that through regulation - if you do it with sincerity, competence and integrity, from 56 million pesos contribution of offshore gaming operations in 2016, it is now a multi-billion pesos revenue generating operation under PAGCOR.
"What is more important, is as other nearby nations are realising - what the POGO operations generate in terms of gaming revenues is not the main event - it is the employment generation that it creates in the locality.
Other jurisdictions are saying; come to us, operate in offshore gaming operations, the only condition is that you hire 30% of your employees from our country, from our nationals, from our citizens. Why do they do this? Why do they offer 10 year tax holidays? Because they realise that POGOs contribute, not only to employment but to the development of the real estate industry in the areas where they need it."
Andrea Domingo states that so far now they have 60 operators and about 237 or so service providers, saying: "for as you all know the POGOs have 3 major players: the operators, the players, and the service providers.
"In the Philippines the operators and the players are based abroad. Firstly no Filipino is able to play, so we have sanitised that - and all the money generated comes from abroad, like in any export industry. The service providers hire a good number of Filipinos - more than 31 thousand Filipinos.
She also talked about naysayers looking for leverage against the government in the upcoming government election in May 2022. "Of course those who are against the government are always looking for leverage - unfortunately they think POGOs are it - because of the concentration of a lot of foreign workers in some areas - this we are going to solve!
"We are encouraging POGO hubs, where all of the workers can be situated in one holistic community where their safety and health will be looked after. We have stopped accrediting any new operators for one sole reason: we want to integrate and harmonise all of the laws, rules and regulations that other agencies are imposing on POGO operators."
1: We are going to harmonise tax structures;
2: We’re going to harmonise immigration and labour policies and;
3: we’re going to harmonise our law enforcement agency with a total effort towards ensuring safe play, fairness, and safety and security for all workers in POGOs - for those who are working legally.
"And perhaps soon we will be able to meet the cross-cultural need to operate in a more harmonised situation. We hope to be able to resume POGO operations in June."
About SiGMA LatAm Focus:
This event brings the Americas closer to delegates from Europe and Asia, with an interesting agenda featuring a line-up of speakers that showcases the company’s commitment to covering the various gaming verticals. Explore the full agenda here and register now, this one’s on us!