Philippines Report

POGOs leaving PH over tax issues? ‘Huwag natin silang habulin’ – lawmaker

Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO)

Let them go. Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) businesses are not our loss.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said this Monday following the reported looming exodus of POGOs in the country as tax rules on online gaming are imposed.

“That’s good news. Let them go. Hindi po natin kawalan ang POGOs. Huwag po natin silang habulin (Pogos are not our loss, let us not chase after them). Pagcor should stop playing a lover to POGOs. It should abandon any effort to woe them back,” Drilon said in a statement.

“Our tax laws are clear: POGOs should pay franchise and withholding taxes. They should settle their P50 billion unpaid taxes,” Drilon added.

The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier said that it is looking into reports that some POGO outfits resumed operations despite failing to settle tax obligations. 

Drilon called on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to “immediately” implement a closure order to “delinquent POGOs.”

Senator Risa Hontiveros echoed Drilon’s call, as she urged Pagcor to revoke the license of tax-delinquent POGOs. 

“Pagcor should exercise its regulatory powers and come down hard on tax-evading POGOs. Dahil kung wala namang parusa, wala namang multa, bakit pa nga ba sila magbabayad?,”Hontiveros said.

(If there is no punishment, no penalty, why would they settle their tax obligations?)

Hontiveros explained that failure to discharge financial commitments, including payment of correct taxes is a ground for the revocation of licenses.

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