The Philippines’ online gaming space is experiencing what many see as a reset phase. Some companies are trying to resume Philippine Offshore Gambling Operations, and are currently testing employees to fulfil the requirements of the country’s Bureau of Internal (BIR). The real estate space in the country is in a panic over worries that many may have to shut down.
Property analysts in the country project that a storm is imminent in the property market. AS the country starts setting up new tax rules, several POGOs may be forced to seek markets elsewhere, causing damage to most industries such as construction, real estate as well as tourism.
The country’s internal deputy commissioner, Arnel Guballa, noted that no POGOs operator had adhered to requirements set by the BIR for them to re-open successfully. To meet requirements, they would have to show that they fulfilled tax requirements as the country’s Amusement and Gaming Corporations requirement that each employee tests negative for the Coronavirus.
Testing for the diseased is mired in controversy. Politicians and talking heads are concerned that POGOs workers are being given priority over employees in other sectors.
Paranaque City, in Metro Manila, is running investigations into whether tests of over 300 Chinese nationals were given priority over those of common Filipino employees.
The Chinese nationals had their tests privately, which ignited anger in the country over suspicion that the tests on the Chinese nationals were not only prioritized over that of Filipinos but that the tests were carried out in areas not authorized by the city health experts.
However, Arturo Astorga II, president of the federation of the homeowners association, defended their actions stating that most enclaves in the country have lost control over the influx of people because lessees have the freedom to access subdivisions as they please.
Enhanced quarantine in the country ended on the 1st of June, and Astorga II noted that they wanted all residents to undergo tests before the city is allowed to open up for business under general quarantine.
If misunderstanding between politicians and POGOs continue, employees may not be able to resume work, and the BIR may never see tax receipts, meaning the economy may take a hit.