Gov’t suspends POGO operations amid quarantine

State-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. said it temporarily suspended the operations of Philippine offshore and gaming operators and their service providers in Luzon during the month-long enhanced community quarantine imposed by the government. 

PAGCOR said in a statement the suspension—effective immediately—was implemented to ensure the safety of all employees and to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

The agency said in amended guidelines that “the skeletal workforce at POGO operating sites are no longer allowed.” 

“Hence, all POGO employees are enjoined to remain in their places of residence, and no loitering or mass gatherings are allowed,” it said.

Meanwhile, the maintenance and upkeep of POGO data centers, software, technical devices and other information technology facilities should be done remotely. On matters that cannot be done remotely, maintenance personnel should secure necessary permits from the concerned unit of the Inter-Agency Task Force, it said

PAGCOR said that for POGO operations outside Luzon, operators and service providers should abide by the community quarantine measures that were being adopted by concerned local government units.

PAGCOR chairman and chief executive Andrea Domingo said this measure would help ensure not only the health and safety of POGO workers but the Filipinos as a whole.

“Our situation right now is different. While revenue generation is important in our operations, the health and well-being being of every Filipino is our immediate priority,” Domingo said.

“By practicing the health protocols recommended by our Health Department, we can all help curb, if not stop, the spread of COVID-19,” she said. 

PAGCOR earlier suspended all gaming operations in Metro Manila, Casino Filipino branches in the provinces, licensed and integrated resort-casinos, electronic games, bingo (traditional and electronic), sports betting, poker and slot machine clubs and other activities it regulates. Junket operations were also suspended.

It said it would review the guidelines from time-to-time to ensure the proper implementation of the enhanced community quarantine. 

The enhanced community quarantine for Luzon will last until April 12, 2020.

Topics: Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. , PAGCOR , Philippine offshore and gaming operators , POGOs , enhanced community quarantine , coronavirus disease 2019 , COVID-19
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