All gaming firms are required to pay tax and Philippine offshore gaming operators or POGOs are no exception, Malacañang said Sunday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday imposed a three-day deadline for delinquent POGOs to settle their tax liabilities or face sanctions.
“China knows what's legal. We all need to comply with it, Panelo told dzIQ radio.
“There are no exceptions. If they need to settle their taxes, they should settle their taxes.”
Panelo said Duterte had no fear about upsetting China by releasing his order to go after delinquent POGOs.
In an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines on Friday, Duterte warned that the POGOs snubbing his order would face sanctions.
POGOS mostly employ Chinese nationals.
“They are now ordered to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and get a tag number.
Now, I’m telling them, POGOs―these are not only Chinese but also Filipino, Filipino-Chinese―you better settle those tax liabilities,” Duterte said.
He said he would not tolerate POGOs’ failure to pay the proper taxes.
“I am telling you: Do not fool Filipinos because Filipinos are not fools,” Duterte said.
The President’s remarks came after a crackdown against tax-evading POGOS was launched in September with the BIR serving 130 demand letters to the POGOs with tax liabilities amounting to P21.62 billion.
The BIR collected P1.63 billion in taxes from the POGOs from January to August this year after collecting P175 million in 2017 and P579 million in 2018.
There are more than 200 POGO service providers with over 100,000 foreign workers operating in the Philippines.