INAMIN ng Department of Finance (DOF) na wala silang datos para suportahan ang kanilang posisyon sa “social costs’ ng pagpayag sa Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) sa bansa.
Ito ang nabunyag sa pagdinig ng Senate Committee on Ways and Means matapos tanungin ni Senador Francis “Chiz” Escudero si Finance Assistant Secretary Valery Joy Brion na magbigay ng basehan sa kanilang posisyon na “the POGO’s modest contribution to the economy does not outweigh the social costs of its continued operations.”
Tanong ni Escudero kay Brion: “How did you compute social cost?”
“At what point should we be earning, for example, from POGO for you to say the benefits will overcome the social costs; and how did you come up with the figure on social costs being far weightier than the income or revenue derived by government or the country? Can you put a figure to it?”
Inamin naman ni Brion na sa kasalukuyan ay wala silang datos para rito.
Matapos ang pag-amin, muling tinanong ni Escudero ang opisyal. “Where did the decision or conclusion that the social costs outweigh.. saan galing po ‘yun? How did you arrive at that?”
“If it were a mathematical computation or a list of things you considered, what would it be? Ano ba dapat ‘yung income para masabi n’yo na it outweighs the social costs and we should keep it,” sabi ni Escudero.
Bagama’t nabanggit ang social costs sa position paper ng DOF, muling iginiit ni Brion na wala pa rin umano silang datos sa kasalukuyan.
Tinanong pa ni Escudero si Brion kung nagsagawa ba sila ng pag-aaral o survey para patotohanan ang kanyang claim.
“So where is it based? If it’s not based on figures, where is it based? Interviews? Surveys? Perception? Emotion? Fear? What data is it based on that it might affect the impression of foreign businessmen intending to put in foreign direct investments in the country?” ani Escudero.
“Because KFRs (kidnap for ransom) not related to casino or POGO is by far higher. With or without POGOs or casinos there would still be KFRs. So where is it based on, ma’am? Did you conduct a survey? That if POGOs continue it will have a social cost and effect insofar as FDI is concerned? Was a survey conducted?” dagdag na tanong nito.
Matapos aminin ng DOF na hindi sila nagsawa ng survey, binigyang diin ni Brion na isinaalang-alang ng ahensiya ang ang maraming factor, kabilang ang ulat sa POGO industry, gayundin ang kontribusyon sa revenue collections.