Monday, September 23, 2019

POGOs: Why are they here in the Philippines (Part 1)?


There has been a hot debate on social media and other media outlets concerning the growing number of Chinese workers in Metro Manila. A number of them are working on gaming industry which are composed of legitimate information technology based game development for the Chinese market or even cater the world market but most of them are involved in gambling through proliferating online casino which is "illegal and prohibited in their own country"

What Are Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs)?

Philippine laws allows the creation of gambling and entertainment companies through the management of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) a government owned enterprises which overseers and regulates these companies or corporation involved in this industry. There is an projected P 20 billion pesos revenue generated as stated by PAGCOR on the profits earned in this industry.

Win-win Situation for Our Filipino Compatriots?

For our local real estate professionals / property owners, it had given them prosperity as the demand of residential housing is rising, driving the market into overload with residential condominium units and office buildings. For examples: Those located in one floor in the Bay Area - SM Mall of Asia is being leased by these foreign workers or in McKinley Hill / West (BGC, Taguig City) to their Chinese locators with Filipino contacts.

Filinvest Land Inc and Megaworld Corporation are the biggest winners or could be the biggest loosers? at the same time in terms of office leasing for these foreign companies that are located on commercial or office buildings in their estates or owned by these real estate development companies around Metro Manila. SM Development Corp projects located near SM Mall of Asia are mostly on the leasing of commercial with majority in residential properties by private unit owners or handled private property management hired by private unit owners may or may not be associated with these developers.

In Paranaque alone, there were complaints from local residents of intrusion and being offered money by these foreign locators with their local counterparts in order to acquire a property of the said residents driving the fair market value of prices too steep for ordinary Filipinos to buy or own or even rent a home that led to local renters being driven away further from this area because of increase in rent or lease of residential apartments or homes. There was also an incident of Chinese only food park in Las Pinas with no business permits and unsanitary practice operating around the area which received a lot of attention from local residents and social media. Action was taken by local government unit of Las Pinas on this incident on complaints of the local populace of such illegal operation happening around their community (link).   

Why Chinese workers are here?

Similar to Overseas Filipino Worker (OFWs) they are working overseas in order to fulfill their needs and at the same time provide to their families left behind in mainland China. The recent events in US-China Trade tensions, have caused unemployment and layoff in China's manufacturing sector with the economy falling and the Chinese government creating a stimulus in order to maintain the economy with last year's GDP performance of 6.4% growth. Plus the compensation for a hired POGO workers who are compensated with P 80,000.00 to P 130,000.00 per month as a "data analyst"  per se with free living accommodation and allowance and return ticket to China who would grab an opportunity or refuse an offer for job like this. The POGO workers age usually in their early 20s to late 30s or some in their 40s. There was also rumors or speculation from other foreign communities / expatriates about POGO managers mainly that they earn at least P 1,000,000.00 to P 4,000,000.00 per month on managing a firm in the Philippines which is unverifiable?

External Security Threat?

Recently, Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and other politicians in congress were alarmed with the possibility of external security threats of these POGOs sprouting near military bases and other important government installations. It has become a threat for local security forces against foreign intrusion with the possibility of espionage in our country by these foreign workers who are of military age men (MEM) in military lingo (link).  

Screen Grab from former Sen. Rafael Alunan's Facebook 

To be continued on our next article....

About the Writer

CRB Benedict Baluyut is a professional real estate broker, real estate appraiser and associate of C. F. Baluyut Realty. He is currently the Vice President for External Affairs, Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (REBAP) - Pampanga Chapter. You can get in touch with him at https://www.cfbaluyutrealty.com.





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