‘Unacceptable:’ Senators press Pagcor to collect P2.2-B unpaid fees from Pogo firm
MANILA, Philippines — Two senators on Tuesday, called on the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) to collect the billions-worth of unpaid fees from a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (Pogo) licensee.
This after Pagcor admitted on Monday that a P2.2-billion receivable from a Pogo firm was left unpaid after the licensee left the country in the middle of the pandemic.
“Ganun-ganun na lang ba nila kakalimutan ang P2.2 billion? Hindi yan maliit na halaga, lalo na para sa ating gobyerno sa panahon ngayon. Responsibilidad ng Pagcor na bantayan ang industriya ng online gambling pero mukhang pinabayaan lang nilang maghasik ng lagim ang mga Pogo sa ating bansa,” said Senator Risa Hontiveros in a statement.
(Are they going to forget the P2.2B just like that? That’s no small amount, especially for our government these days. It is Pagcor’s responsibility to guard the online gambling industry, but it seems they just let the Pogos terrorize our country.)
According to Hontiveros, the Pogo firm with unpaid fees should be blacklisted in the Philippines, adding that Pagcor officials must be held accountable for their incompetence.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement issued Tuesday, Senator Grace Poe likewise pushed Pagcor to “make an effort and collect the unpaid fees.”
“The Bureau of Internal Revenue in coordination with Pagcor should make every effort to collect the P2.2 billion dues from the Pogo firm that closed shop and disappeared. If this Pogo is a legitimate company, in the first place, then regulators should have a way of finding it and making it settle its liabilities,” said Poe.
This likewise prompted Poe to urge the Marcos administration to take decisive action over the existence of Pogos in the country.