The government will punish tax delinquent Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), MalacaAang said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte will not allow POGOs to defy his order to pay the right taxes to the government.
We'll run after them. Very clear naman si Presidente doon, eh (The President is very clear on that). No sacred cows in this government. You owe the government? We'll run after you, Panelo said in a Palace press conference.
His statement came after the government failed to collect at least PHP50 billion in taxes from POGOs in 2019.
Presently, around 60 POGOs have been allowed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) to operate in the country.
Bureau of Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Sixto Dy Jr. said at a Senate hearing held Tuesday that the bureau should have collected an estimated PHP50 billion from the online gaming operators last year.
Dy, however, noted that the BIR only collected PHP5 billion out of the PHP50 billion tax revenue expected to be generated from POGOs.
Panelo said online gaming operators who fail to settle their tax obligations will be subject to prosecution.
Walang sinisino si Presidente, eh. Basta nagkamali ka, meron kang transgression, hindi ka palulusutin (There is no sacred cow for the President. If you commit a mistake or transgression, he will not let it pass), he said.
To recall, Duterte told non paying POGOs to pay the correct amount of taxes to the government.
Last year, the BIR issued a temporary halt order on the operations of at least four firms operating as POGO service providers.
Pagcor has also imposed a moratorium on new licenses for POGOs, until issues hounding the operations of online gaming are addressed.
Source: Philippines News Agency