The Philippines Offshore Gambling Operator (POGO) industry has been struggling thanks to the influence of the politicians in the country. This has been going for long and now the politicians are coming with a new punch. Now, a house committee meeting was organized where the politicians demonstrated the pros and cons of taxing the POGO. There was also a demonstration about the trouble that the POGO industry is providing to some of the agencies.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) recently announced an increase in tax from POGO. The BIR said it collected P1.79b ($35m) from POGO and that is an increase of P1.4b from last year. BIR gave the information to the House Ways and Means Committee. However, the taxed amount from POGO hasn’t reached the expected amount of BIR which is set at P2b.
The House Minority Floor Bienvenido “Benny” Abante is actively using some media reports. It was said mentioning the media reports that only 10 out of the 60 registered POGO companies pay the fair amount of taxes to the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). It was told that if the government is not receiving the fair amount of tax revenue, then what the point of operating the industry is. He lambasted PAGCOR for failing to take the tax revenue. Mentioning another reported he further challenged PAGCOR and said that it is still regulating and operating more than 100 illegal Online Gambling Operators.
The panel was run by Albay Rep, Joey Salceda who pointed out how much the Philippines can manage to gain with the complete taxation of the POGO industry. The committee has proposed a new tax bill. The new tax bill says that a 5% tax on the gross receipts and 15% on POGO income tax would be applied and the Philippines can gain around P20b. Presently the estimated highest amount of tax money from PAGCOR is mere P6b and the change would see the country get P14b more.
However, PAGCOR has a different view on it. It said that the industry is undertaxed and a whopping tax suddenly could lead to a situation where the companies might leave the country of operation.