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48,000 Chinese POGO workers face visa cancellation

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) is set to cancel the visa of over 48,000 Chinese workers who are employees of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and whose licenses have been cancelled by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

The decision came amid the reported involvement of some POGO workers in kidnap-for-ransom cases.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said that the cancellation of their visas is a more humane measure rather than deporting them to China.

“Instead of deporting them, the cancellation of alien visas would simply allow the Chinese nationals to voluntarily exit the country within a non-extendible period of 59 days,” the DOJ said.

The BIm it was learned, is verifying if all of the said aliens are still in the country.

“To be clear, it is only after the Chinese nationals refuse to leave the country within the allowable period that summary deportation will be resorted to. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) are in close coordination to ensure a successful and smooth operation, ” the DOJ stated.

The DOJ said it is aware of the effects of the POGO’s operation to the economy but that reports of kidnapping, murder and other criminal activities involving the POGO workers who are Chinese nationals is also not good for the country’s economy and image.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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