MANILA – A total of 3,198 workers in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) have applied for police clearance as authorities crack down on illegal activities linked to the industry, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.

“As of Sept. 27 and 28, an additional 297 POGO workers availed the national police clearance processed by DIDM (Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management) team, making a total of 3,198 police clearances issued to POGO workers as of Oct. 3,” PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin said during a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Azurin also noted that the PNP and local government units are now crafting a documentation mechanism for POGO workers.

“In other industrial zones hosting POGO and other gaming operations run by foreign companies, I was informed that the documentation process of POGO workers by PNP Units and LGUs is underway to establish a recording and monitoring system that will keep track of activities of these foreign workers and ensure their compliance to (sic) PNP clearance and LGU administrative requirements,” he said.

Earlier, the POGOs have agreed to comply with the clearances from both the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as part of the requirements for working in the country.

This is an offshoot of the meeting they initiated with POGOs amid the rising cases of criminal activities in the country which involve their workers.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said it is working with the Chinese Embassy in Manila in connection with the deportation of 331 Chinese nationals that were arrested by authorities in operations in Pasig City and Pampanga last month.

BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval the Chinese nationals were among the 372 foreigners that were rounded up by the operations by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the PNP in two areas.

“The BI has coordinated with the NBI and the Chinese embassy to expedite the release of the required documentation. The schedule may be finalized upon clearance from the NBI and receipt of their travel documents,” she said in a statement.

The bureau reported that 43 of those arrested have been physically turned over to its custody, while the rest remain in the physical custody of the arresting agency.

On the other hand, the Bureau has started checking the status of the 48,782 foreigners whose visas have been canceled or revoked by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

“No final schedule yet, but upon completion of the list, the order to leave will be issued, and the 59-day period will commence,” Sandoval said.

Under this period, she said these foreigners will be given 59 days to leave the country.

Those who would fail to leave will be subject to the BI's deportation proceedings. (with Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)