MANILA, Philippines – The leadership of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) admitted that they do not know the whereabouts of more than 40,000 employees of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) who are scheduled to be deported by the government.
This statement was made by BI Deputy Commissioner Fortunato Manahan Jr. at the Senate Committee hearing on ways and means held this Monday after Senator Grace Poe’s inquiry.
“‘Those who say, ‘we will deport 40,000 or more individuals,’ where are those? I’m not saying deport you immediately. I’m just saying, do you know where they are or are these just words?,” Poe asked.
Manahan responded that the 40,000 figure was only an estimate because it was assumed that there were 200 workers in each of the more than 200 Pogo firms whose licenses were revoked.
Because of this, Poe asked Manahan that it only calculated the said numbers but they did not really know where the individuals were to which the office replied “Yes”.
According to Poe, a POGO worker told him that he plans to stay in the Philippines illegally because of the high wages of POGO firms.
The Department of Justice previously said they will deport 40,000 Chinese nationals who are overstaying in the Philippines after revoking the licenses of the companies they work for.
The Senate committee on ways and means began its hearing on Pogos on Monday as senators tried to weigh its benefits and costs to society. JAY Reyes
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