POGO reopening: Regulator to be 'very strict' on unpaid taxes


Posted at May 04 2020 12:34 PM

POGO reopening: Regulator to be 'very strict' on unpaid taxes 1
Phil-Asian Gaming Expo features offshore games targetting bettors outside the Philippines. Games can be played on desktop or mobile devices. Photos taken at the SMX Convention Center. July 12, 2019. Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp said Monday it would be "very strict" in enforcing conditions tied to the partial reopening of POGOs in quarantine areas.

Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators should present certificates of registration from the Bureau of Internal Revenue and proof of payment of taxes and other liabilities said PAGCOR senior offshore gaming officer Diane Erica Jogno. 

“Very strict po kami dito na ma-settle nila yung kanilang remaining na unpaid taxes with BIR,” Jogno said.

(We are very strict here on the settlement of unpaid taxes)

PAGCOR chairperson Andrea Domingo earlier said the country’s coronavirus taskforce allowed the partial reopening of POGOs since they were functioning as business process outsourcing (BPOs). Only 30 percent of their workforce, who passed COVID-19 testing, will be allowed to return to work.

POGOs are also a “good source of revenue” for the government, said PAGCOR assistant vice president for Corporate Services Arnie Salvosa.

Salvosa said the government earned P11 billion in POGO license fees and P6 billion from taxes last year.

The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, however, said, POGOs “cannot be considered as business process outsourcing” since BPOs offer higher value jobs for Filipinos. Majority of POGOs employ foreign labor, said IBPAP president Rey Untal.