MANILA – The Makati City government has closed down a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) firm in Barangay Pio del Pilar over its failure to secure a business permit from the mayor's office.

In a Facebook post Thursday, Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay said the POGO firm violated the city ordinance and the general community quarantine (GCQ) protocols as well as the health guidelines on the coronavirus emergency.

The Makati police arrested some 50 Chinese and a Burmese who were illegally operating in the POGO firm late Monday.

Binay has tasked the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) to monitor and perform routine inspections on business establishments within the city amid the implementation of a more relaxed GCQ.

"The establishment failed to secure a business or mayor’s permit and violated general community quarantine protocols. The BPLO conducts routine inspections on business establishments to ensure compliance amid the pandemic," she said.

Meanwhile, Binay along with the BPLO personnel, has been inspecting malls and other establishments to ensure that business owners are complying with the government's preventive measures, health protocols, and guidelines against the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

"Makatizens, this is our new normal. No exception to the rules on social distancing, temperature check, hand disinfection, and the wearing of masks," she said in a separate Twitter post.

Binay called on the public to report any person or establishment found violating GCQ guidelines and protocols in the city.

Residents may report through hotline 168 or directly in the mobile application Makatizen App.

‘Mistakenly classified’ as hotspot

On the other hand, Binay said the Department of Health (DOH) had already clarified that Makati is not among the four cities which was "mistakenly classified" as emerging hotspots for Covid-19. However, she said residents should not be complacent on the health risks brought by the pandemic.

"No truth to the earlier statement that Makati cases are up. Mistakenly identified as a hotspot. In fact, cases went down by 4% compared to last month. Good to have this clarified but Makatizens, please stay safe and wear a mask always," she said.

The Makati Health Department (MHD) reported that the city has a total of 1,234 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Based on MHD data, the city has recorded 428 active cases, 103 deaths, and 703 recoveries. It also has two probable cases, 358 suspected cases, and 725 persons under monitoring (PUMs) as of July 8.

Binay encouraged residents to stay at home and avoid going outside their homes if not necessary. (PNA)