Tax bureau shuts 2 branches of POGO service provider

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 17 2019 11:45 AM | Updated as of Oct 17 2019 11:46 AM

Members of the BIR's Tax Force POGO closed 2 branches of offshore gaming service provider Altech Innovations Business Outsourcing for tax violations. Michael Joe Delizo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Two branches of an offshore gaming service provider were shut on Thursday for failure to register as a value added tax (VAT) payer, the Bureau of Internal Revenue said.

Altech Innovations Business Outsourcing's head office in Aseana City in Parañaque and its branch in Pasay City were closed Thursday for tax code violations, the BIR said in a statement.

The government is moving to enforce the law on POGOs or Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations after China complained that some of its nationals who work for such firms were victims of crime and abuse.

The company that operates the shuttered POGOs is a single proprietorship owned by Jan Erick Lavariaz Altavas, the statement said.

The BIR's Task Force POGO led the shutdown, assisted by Finance Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino.

“Dapat pantay pantay, Filipino or foreigner, they should be paying their taxes here in the Philippines kasi we need these revenues for nation building, especially sa Build, Build, Build project of the administration,” BIR deputy commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa told reporters.

(It should be fair for everyone, Filipino or foreigner, they should be paying their taxes here in the Philippines because we need these revenues for nation building, especially the Build, Build, Build project of the administration."

Lambino said the closure was "fair implementation" of Philippine laws.

Seven restaurants catering to Chinese offshore gaming employees were also closed by the BIR this month for tax violations.

POGO service provider Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corp (GEGAC) was also shut in September "for lack of registration for VAT purposes," the BIR said. It has since resumed operations after partial payment of its tax liabilities.

-- with a report from Michael Joe Delizo, ABS-CBN News