China can't dictate on PH on online gaming ops: Sta. Romana
China could not dictate on the Philippines to shut down online gaming operations in the country, Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana said on Thursday.
In a media interview in Beijing, Sta. Romana said closing down the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations would have an economic impact.
"They (China) can't dictate on us. That's our sovereign decision...that is where we stand," he said.
China earlier urged the Philippines to ban online gaming after some of its Chinese nationals were figured in illegal activities and commission of crimes in the country.
Online gambling is prohibited in China.
President Rodrigo Duterte is in China for a four-day official visit. The issue on online gambling could be raised by Chinese President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting.
"For me, I think the key is for the President to be ready to explain, you know. And it will have an economic impact on us. So if we are to do it, we want a soft landing. We don't want a drastic, you know, impact that will be adversely affect our economy," Sta. Romana said.
He noted the efforts being undertaken by the Philippine authorities to fully regulate online gambling.
"As a matter of fact, we are already trying it. We're trying to regulate, to tighten the screws, so to speak, and to monitor. I mean all these efforts, you know, the creation of the hubs, issuance of tax information --- TINs," he said.
About 130,000 Chinese nationals are said to be working in POGOs. Celerina Monte/DMS