- He also defended POGOs saying that its operations are allowed because the country earns Php600 million a month from its operations.
- He added that the money for POGOs will be added to the country’s COVID-19 funds.
On May 7, the Malacanang addressed the issue surrounding criticism that the government allowed online gambling businesses to resume but ordered the closure of ABS-CBN amid the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
The media giant went off-air on May 5 after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) told the network to halt their operations as their franchise had already expired.
This made people accuse the government of a biased treatment towards the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) despite allegations that they have not been paying taxes and ABS-CBN Corporation is one of the top taxpayers in the country.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque stated that he found no basis for comparison.
“Hindi po apples to apples iyan. Ang POGOs, ang kinikita natin diyan ay ₱600 million a month, ₱22 billion a year in income. In terms of employment, 35,000 po ang Pilipino ang nag e-empleyo,” he said in a televised briefing.
He added that the income derived from the opening of POGOs would be added to the government’s funds for its COVID-19 efforts.
“Ang kikitain natin sa POGO na mahigit ₱1 billion kada buwan ay mapupunta lahat sa COVID-19.”
Roque previously insisted that the government did not show favoritism to POGOs even when it was allowed to operate during the enhanced community quarantine.