October 12, 2022
MANILA — The Philippines is not on China’s tourism blacklist, the Chinese Embassy in Manila clarified on Tuesday night.
The embassy made the clarification after Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said that the Philippines was on the blacklist for continuing to allow Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) to do business.
“The report of ‘tourist blacklist’ is misinformation. China has not placed the Philippines on its blacklist for tourism,” the Chinese Embassy told reporters in a message.
Earlier, during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Tuesday, Zubiri said that the Philippines was on the blacklist.
“Ambassador Huang [Xilian] said that the Philippines now is part of a blacklist of tourist sites because they do not know if the tourist going there will be operating or will be joining POGO operations,” Zubiri said, a day after he met with the envoy.
He also attributed the decline in Chinese tourists in the Philippines to the blacklist.
“They do not know if Chinese nationals who go to the Philippines will be safe from illegal activities being done by the triad, by the syndicates operating Pogos. They may also be kidnapped and mistaken for POGO operators. So, that is the reason why there’s been a drop, a significant drop of Chinese tourists,” the Senate President said.
Pogo’s curse: PH on China’s blacklist of tourist sites over offshore gambling ops — Zubiri