CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Police Regional Office-3 (PRO-3) has started issuing national police clearance to workers of licensed Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) in Central Luzon.

PRO-3 chief Brig. Gen. Cesar Pasiwen said on Friday the move was part of the identification all foreigners and locals working in POGO to avoid similar kidnapping cases and other forms of abuse, particularly among Chinese workers.

The national police clearance will ensure that those foreigners entering the country are not criminals, Pasiwen said.

Some 180 workers of the Tele Empire in Upper Cubic, Subic Bay Freeport Zone clearances for workers, who are Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian nationals, are being processed in Olongapo City. Thirty workers, with no criminal records, were the first to receive their clearances.

“We welcome the support of the operators of the legitimate POGOs who are coordinating with us and seeking assistance for the issuance of national police clearance of their workers which only proves that they abide by our existing laws,” Pasiwen said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the PRO-3 chief said areas, where POGO firms are located, are under close monitoring as preventive measures considering the series of POGO-related crimes.

On Sept. 17, some 40 foreign workers were rescued following the closure of a POGO firm in Angeles City.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr., together with Pasiwen and other police officials, shut down the illegal POGO establishment Lucky South 99 Outsourcing Inc. along Fil-Am Friendship Highway, Angeles City.

On Sept. 14, a total of 43 foreigners were rescued while a Chinese national was arrested during an operation in the same POGO firm. (PNA)