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Permits of over 42K foreign POGO workers being reviewed

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday said it is reviewing the Alien Employment Permits (AEPS) of over 42,000 foreigners working in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) companies.

In a televised public briefing, Labor Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez said they are prepared to cancel or revoke the AEPs of the foreign workers if they are found guilty of involvement in unlawful activities.

“We will now undertake a review of these AEPs and their holders, which are POGO workers.

We will begin the investigation on whether these AEPs issued to POGO workers should already be cancelled or revoked,” Benavidez said.

An AEP is a document issued to a non-resident person or foreign national seeking admission to the Philippines for employment purposes.

Under the law, foreign workers are required to apply and secure AEPs before they are allowed to work in the country.

“Ideally, these legally issued AEPs must be used properly and correctly. If these POGO workers issued AEPs are found engaged in illegal activities, these are subject to revocation or cancellation. That is the directive of our (DOLE) Secretary (Bienvenido Laguesma),” he added.

On Wednesday, the Senate called on the DOLE to review the 42,409 AEPs issued to foreigners working in POGO companies.

This was after POGO establishments in Parañaque City and Pasay City were recently raided as they lacked licenses to operate and are allegedly operating as prostitution dens and crypto scams hubs.