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Villanueva confident other senators will back report seeking ban on POGOs

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva on Wednesday expressed confidence that his colleagues will support Senate ways and means committee chairman Sherwin Gatchalian’s report recommending the immediate ban of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) in the country.

“I have to say that I am confident with my colleagues that if they get a chance to really read into the committee report of Senator Gatchalian, they will sign,” Villanueva said in an interview with reporters.

Although he acknowledged that some of his colleagues have reservations, Villanueva is confident that the report will get enough signatures to sponsor it on the Senate floor for deliberations.

“I think it’s quite clear among all of us in the Senate, the majority of the members of the Senate are not in the dark in so far as [the] wicked effects of POGO is concerned,” he said.

In terms of its economic effects, Villanueva said he believes the Retail Trade Liberalization Law and the amendments to the Public Services Act can fill in the losses if POGOs will be banned in the country.

“All things considered, this representation still firmly and undoubtedly believes that there are things that we are better off without, and these include POGOs,” he said.

On Tuesday, Gatchalian said he is expecting to sponsor the Senate committee on ways and means report on POGOs upon the resumption of session as more senators signed it after his privilege speech last Wednesday. —VAL, GMA Integrated News