Pay or go home: Solons hit erring Pogos over failure to pay taxes | Inquirer News

Pay or go home: Solons hit erring Pogos over failure to pay taxes

/ 11:41 AM February 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers on Tuesday sought to tighten the leash on Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) following reports of their failure to comply with the country’s taxation requirements.

At a hearing on whether Pogos should be allowed to operate in the country, ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Yap, chair of the House Committee on games and amusements said that if true that majority of Chinese game operators have failed to pay their P50-billion liabilities in terms of withholding income and franchise taxes in 2019, then they should just “go home.”

Yap said the reason there are Pogos in the country is the benefit they provide through the taxes they pay.


“Simula ngayong araw na ‘to, magtatayo naman ako ng slogan: Pay or go home. Kapag hindi nagbayad, uwi na lang sila kasi sila ina-accommodate natin dito, binibigyan natin sila ng Filipino hospitality so kailangan naman magbayad sila,” he said.


House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante reiterated that the Pogos’ failure to pay their taxes is just one of the reasons why he is for the total ban of Pogos in the country.

“As I have always said in the past, I’ll say it again, that the Pogo online gaming people are not paying the right taxes. And number three, I’d like to say here publicly that I am for the total ban of all Pogo online gaming in the country… You talk about gambling, whether the gambling is being done in other countries or here, there is always corruption,” he said.

For his part, Atty. Jose Tria, Acting Assistant Vice President of Offshore Gaming and Licensing Department of Pagcor, said that it was only last week that they heard about liabilities from Pogo.

Tria said that if Pogos were seen to have committed blatant violations of the law, then Pagcor is “very much willing” to close down erring companies.

“Last Monday, I was instructed by our chairman to prepare a letter to BIR to ask them specifically which companies have not yet paid until now,” he said.

“What is the real score, is it non-payment of any tax or is it just the difference being assessed and the tax actually paid by the Pogos so that we can assist them and if there is really a blatant violation of our BIR laws then Pagcor will be very much willing to close down these companies,” he added.


At present, there are 60 Pogos licensed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).

Of this number, 50 are online casino operators based abroad while 10 are Philippine-based.

According to Tria, Pagcor earned more than P8 billion in 2019 in regulatory fees from Pogos. Regulatory fees paid by Pogos comprise of two percent of their gross gaming revenue, Tria explained.

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Tria said earnings from Pogo make up 11 percent of the total revenues made by Pagcor.

TAGS: BIR, Chinese Pogo, Pagcor, pogo

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