Photo of an online gambling site
The conroversy over Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) does not seem to end. As they have been allowed to resume some operations following the ease in COVID 19 ockdown rules, the new concern is whether they are paying the right taxes.
The Department of Finance said last week that government revenues from POGOS should be as high as P20 billion per year. Collections though are at a mere P6 billion in 2019. This we find clearly disturbing, to say the least. They should pay more, pay correctly, and not try to argue their way out of paying such taxes.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), being the direct government regulator of these POGOs, should take the lead in encouraging the payment of corect taxes, and must never be interpreted as allowing, or worse, encouraging the non payment, evasion or waiver of these vital taxes. Any suggestion that taxes can be avoided by these companies leaves a very bad taste in the mouth.
Given our need for revenues to help fight the COVID 19 pandemic's effects, and ensure the continuation of vital programs such as infraststructure projects, we have to exhaust all efforts to collect taxes from these companies Their operations, being for mere amusement of foreigners, deserve to pay more taxes.