House panel OKs bill for tax on Pogo and its workers

The House committee on ways and means unanimously approved Monday a bill that seeks to impose taxes on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) and its workers.

On Surigao del Sur 1st District Rep. Prospero Jr.’s motion, the House committee on ways and means approved House Bill No. 5267, which would set a five percent franchise tax on Pogos and another 25 percent tax on the salaries of its workers with a minimum threshold of P600,000 per year.

No committee members objected to the motion.

At present, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) only collects two percent from the gross winnings of licensed Pogos.

“This will raise P45 billion for the national government,” said House ways and means chairman and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, who also authored the proposed measure.

“The committee on ways and means has already approved the tax on Pogo. It’s essentially just actually just tweaking Presidential Decree 1869 that the 5% franchise tax should be directly imposed on them,” he added.

Under the bill, Pagcor will be tasked to collect Pogo taxes then remit it to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). It also provides that Pagcor will only issue licenses for Pogos after they have registered with BIR.

During the House ways and means committee hearing, Pagcor, as well as the Department of Labor and Employment and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, have expressed their support to Salceda’s bill.

The proposed measure will have to be sponsored on second reading in the House plenary.

SOURCE: Inquirer

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