AN OPPOSITION senator yesterday sought an immediate crackdown against offshore gaming operators in the Philippines after police rescued a Taiwanese who was forced to work for a Chinese operator.
“We need an immediate crackdown on fly-by-night Philippine online gaming operators,” Senator Risa N. Hontiveros-Baraquel said in a statement posted on the Senate website.
The lawmaker presented to media Lai Yu Cian or Ivy, a 23-year-old Taiwanese woman trafficked into the country to work in an offshore gaming company.
Ms. Baraquel said Ivy was forced to work for Chinese nationals in Makati. The victim was recruited to work in advertising but was scared when she found out it was an offshore gaming operation.
Her passport was confiscated and her Chinese employers mentally and physically abused her, the senator said.
“They touched my body in front of other men and they laughed at me,” the statement quoted her as saying.
The victims had been receiving threats since her rescue early this month, Ms. Baraquel said.
The senator said that Ivy’s story is one of the many stories of workers, especially women, who are made to work illegally in the Philippines by offshore gaming companies.
“We can’t add more crimes being committed to the country,” she said. “We need to stop these illegal POGO companies immediately.”
She said a number of crimes are connected to offshore gaming companies here — illegal recruitment, illegal detention and sexual harassment.
“We need to stop all these,” Ms. Baraquel said. — NPA