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POGO Refuses Entry, Inspection by SBMA Team

by Vic V. Vizcocho, Jr.

A Philippines Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) is in hot water after it refused entry to the Inspection Team sent by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) over the weekend to conduct inspections to ascertain compliance to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), and if it ceased operations as ordered in the face of the Wuhan Virus (Covid 19) Pandemic.

“Ekxinum, Inc. told us to make an appointment first before coming for inspection,” team member SBMA Fire & Rescue Chief Ranny Magno said, “which is not right because inspections are supposed to be random.”

Ekxinum, Inc., the biggest POGO in the Subic Freeport, has thousands of Chinese employees at the sprawling some 3.6-hectare former school compound turned Online Gambling Center at Upper Cubi. Ekxinum, Inc. barred the SBMA Inspection team sent to check its compliance to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), and if it stopped operations as required during the Quarantine. SubicBayNews photo by Vic V. Vizcocho, Jr.

This prompted SBMA Chairman & Administrator Wilma T. Eisma to order the SBMA Business and Investment Group (BIG) to work with the Legal Department “in issuing a ‘show cause’ order for Ekxinum to explain why it barred the SBMA inspection team from entering its premises.”

According to Eisma, “other legal action may ensue from this procedure, if warranted. The random inspection of Ekxinum facilities and all other POGOs will take place in the same way the SBMA has made random inspection of all other establishments.”

Except for Ekxinum, Inc., other POGO centers and businesses in the Freeport allows the SBMA Team to enter and inspect their premises.

POGO Operations During Quarantine

Earlier, there had been suspicions of possible continued operations of the POGOs despite the government’s order to stop, which not only raises the risk of spreading the Wuhan Virus, but would also be cheating the government of taxes.

Like Ekxinum, hotels in the Freeport that are exclusively housing Chinese POGO employees like Buma Hotel and Inter-Park Hotel could have easily continued operations right from their rooms without getting the attention of authorities.

Passenger buses (above photos) from the hotels in the Freeport catering exclusively on long-term basis to Chinese POGO workers marked “Food Delivery Do Not Delay” and “Food and Basic Needs Service” have raised suspicions that they are transporting workers to POGO Centers within and outside the Freeport.
SubicBayNews photos by Vic V. Vizcocho, Jr.

Passenger buses from the said hotels marked “Food Delivery Do Not Delay” and “Food and Basic Needs Service” have also raised suspicions that they are transporting workers to POGO Centers within and outside the Freeport, thus, Eisma ordered stricter measures in monitoring the trips, and “if caught,” she said, “will be dealt with accordingly.”

Internet Signal

Meanwhile, a former top telco executive told Subic Bay News that “telcos are now enabled by “Software Defined Networks (SDN), meaning they have intelligent monitoring systems to better manage their fixed and wireless networks.”

“SDN can measure real time usage of bandwidth,” said the executive who requested not to be named, “per port and/or per customer, among other metrics, that is, peak time/lean time, usage patterns, fiber cuts and outages, etc.”

Eisma said she has ordered the SBMA Legal Department to coordinate with the PLDT in looking into the “usage of bandwidth capacities” of the POGOs in Subic.

BIR Tax Payment Certification

Ekxinum, Inc. is the biggest POGO in the Subic Freeport that employs thousands of Chinese at the sprawling some 3.6-hectare former school compound turned Online Gambling Center at Upper Cubi which another company, Premium Technical Training and Facilities, Inc. that is also owned mainly by Ekxinum owners, leased from SBMA in 2017 and subleased to its sister POGO company.

Gated and heavily guarded at the sprawling some 3.6-hectare former school compound turned Online Gambling Center at Upper Cubi, Ekxinum, Inc., has thousands of Chinese employees. The POGO Company barred the SBMA Inspection team sent to check its compliance to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), and if it stopped operations as required during the Quarantine. SubicBayNews photo by Vic V. Vizcocho, Jr.

Eisma has informed POGO companies in the Freeport that should the national government give the go signal for POGOs to resume operations, they will have to submit certifications from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that they have paid all taxes due as of March 2020, as announced by PAGGOR Chair Andrea Domingo, otherwise they will not be allowed.

Earlier, the BIR has said “almost all POGOs” have unpaid taxes.

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11 thoughts on “POGO Refuses Entry, Inspection by SBMA Team

  • May 14, 2020 at 2:56 pm
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    SHUT DOWN ALL POGOs !!! THEY ARE A CANCER TO PHILIPPINE SOCIETY !!!

    Reply
    • May 16, 2020 at 2:33 am
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      That is a community compound. It houses the dorms. Naturally Foreign workers will be there. Bakit sa HK galit na galit tayo because we alleged Pinoys are being discriminated. We are doing the same. These foreign workers are like OFWs.

      Reply
      • May 16, 2020 at 2:36 am
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        Ano’ng pagkakaiba? Wala Except we are doing what we rejected foreigners are doing to our OFWs. Kaya esep
        Esep. Huwag masyado mayabang dahil may OFWs din tayo na pakalat kalat abroad.

        Reply
      • May 25, 2020 at 2:13 pm
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        Justine Alegre, did you read the article? Intindihin mo ha, tapos magbukas ka ng newpaper or tv, may deadly virus na madaling makahawa ngayon kaya hindi pinag-ooperate ang non-essential activities.
        Ok?

        Reply
      • May 25, 2020 at 8:05 pm
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        No they are not. They are serving their motherland illegally. Meron ka bang nakikitang casinos sa Mainland China? Di ba wala? Kasi they run by these POGOs na walang silbi sa bayan dahil sila pa nangungupahan, di pa sila nagbabayad ng buwis!

        DDS script pa more!

        Reply
  • May 16, 2020 at 12:02 am
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    These Chinese are just making a mockery of our laws. I know that Subic prides itself of strict enforcement even of the simplest traffic rules. They shouldn’t let these Wuhan virus carriers evade the laws.

    Reply
    • May 25, 2020 at 5:44 am
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      ..exactly …something recall fishy is going on inside that former US Base and the huge Korean Shipyard. Now a Chinese stronghold with dirt being worked inside…NBI should now come into the picture.

      Reply
  • May 21, 2020 at 12:37 am
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    What is Ekxinum hiding that they did not allow an inspection? Illegal Chinese workers? Chinese spies and military hackers?

    Reply
  • May 24, 2020 at 2:36 pm
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    OFW’s are required to follow the laws of the host country. It’s the same rule as with every other nationality who travels abroad even tourists know about this fact. The inspections being carried out by SBMA is based on Philippine law and is not an act of discrimination especially if it’s applied to every company or firm located within Subic Bay Freeport.

    Reply
  • May 25, 2020 at 3:01 am
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    We will be following the result of this investigation. SBMA is credible and i dont think there will be a white wash. If found that there are gross violations comitted by this company, they should be punished up to the extent of the law.

    Reply

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