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Pogo firm in Subic closes, sends 1,000 Chinese workers packing

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—A Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (Pogo) company here has closed shop due to revenue losses, forcing some 1,000 Chinese workers to leave the free port for good.

Wilma Eisma, head of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), on Wednesday (Oct. 21) said out of the previous 1,500 Chinese workers here, only less than 500 were left.

“This is because the Pogo operators cannot do business after the declaration of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine last March, and thus were losing money,” Eisma said in a statement.

She said the Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corp., one of the Pogo firms operating here, has sent its workers back home to China after losing more than P100 million due to the pandemic.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Pogo establishments, we can expect more Chinese workers here to be repatriated,” she added.

Recently, Senators Richard Gordon and Nancy Binay noted during the Department of Tourism budget hearing that a total of 27,678 foreigners from mainland China had availed themselves of the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa or SRRV.

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Article and Photo originally posted by Inquirer last October 21, 2020 7:49pm and written by Joanna Rose Aglibot.