DOLE to probe permits issued to foreign POGO workers

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has ordered the conduct of an investigation on the Alien Employment Permits (AEPs) issued to foreigners working in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) companies. "We will begin the investigation on whether these AEPs issued to POGO workers should already be canceled or revoked," DOLE Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez said during the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing on Thursday. "We will now undertake a review of these AEPs and their holders, which are POGO workers," he added. Benavidez reported that there are over 42,000 foreign POGO workers that have been issued with AEPs and that they were ready to cancel or revoke the AEPs issued to foreigners working in such firms if found to be engaged in illegal activities. "Ideally, these legally issued AEPs must be used properly and correctly," the DOLE undersecretary said. "If these POGO workers issued (with) AEPs are found engaged in illegal activities, these are subject to revocation or cancellation. That is t he directive of our (DOLE) Secretary." An AEP is a document issued to a non-resident alien 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. On Wednesday, the Senate urged the DOLE to review the 42,409 AEPs issued to foreign nationals working in POGO firms. An earlier report said that POGO establishments in Parañaque City and Pasay City were recently raided for supposedly operating without licenses and allegedly operating as prostitution dens and crypto scam hubs. Source: Philippines News agency