The head of the Senate Ways and Means Committee said on Sunday that the enactment of a law setting taxes on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) – which tax gaming entities that cater only to foreigners – is a much better tax tactic than the pending proposals to allow Filipino gambling online.
In a search of her counterparts in the House of Representatives, Senator Pia Cayetano said: “I would rather tax POGOs than see a proliferation of gambling in the country, which unfortunately seems to be the direction that take our colleagues in the House. with the recent passage of a bill authorizing online gambling.
In a statement on Sunday, Cayetano described the POGO tax measure enacted last week as a “major victory” for the Philippines, as it will generate billions in additional funds for public services, but without weighing down Filipino taxpayers.
She noted that “for years many of these POGOs have operated without paying the proper taxes. Under this law that I sponsored and defended, they will now be taxed.
As the main sponsor of the POGO tax law, she pointed out that “POGOs are offshore gaming operators, adding that this” means that only foreigners abroad can play in POGOs. Taxes therefore do not come from Filipinos, nor even from foreigners residing in the country.
At the same time, she added that under the new law, 60% of the total revenues from the gambling tax imposed on offshore gambling companies will be allocated by the government and allocated for the following purposes:
■ 60% for the implementation of the universal law on health care;
■ 20% for the Health Establishment Improvement Fund; and
■ 20 percent for SDG achievement, provided specific SDG targets are determined by NEDA.
“We have ensured that POGO revenues will be allocated to much-needed health programs amid the pandemic and will contribute to the achievement of our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” added the senator, who also chairs the Senate committee. on the SDGs. , Innovation and reflection on the future.
In addition, she reminded everyone that, based on estimates from the Ministry of Finance (DOF), RA 11590 is expected to generate 22.9 billion pesos in 2022, thanks to the 5% gambling tax imposed. on gross gaming revenue of POGO licensees.
In addition, the government is expected to collect 9.2 billion pesos in 2022 from the final 25% withholding tax imposed on foreign POGO employees. Together, she said the total projected revenue of RA 11590 would rise to 32.1 billion pesos in 2022.