By Chino S. Leyco
The Department of Finance (DOF) supports the creation of online gaming hubs or IT parks that host call centers and other service providers of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) for easier monitoring and tax collection.
In a recent talk with reporters at the DOF headquarters, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said he welcomes the “POGO hub” concept approved by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).
Earlier, Pagcor said POGO hubs intend to host service providers that cater to offshore gaming firms with the ultimate goal of enhancing government’s monitoring capabilities and the industry’s regulatory compliance.
For tax purposes, Dominguez said it’s easier for the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to monitor and collect appropriate taxes if foreign workers, who are mostly Chinese, are concentrated in one place.
Citing the case of Island Cove Resort in Kawit, Cavite, the finance chief said: “We welcome that they [Chinese workers] are staying there so it’s easy to catch them [if there are violations]… it’s a welcome development.”
The DOF and BIR expect to collect at least P2 billion in personal income taxes per month from foreign workers. So far, the agencies earlier reported that government initially collected P200 million from the sector for the month of July.
While the initial tax collected is still a long way from the P2 billion target, Dominguez said jump-starting a revenue collection program is not like running a race car.
“I don’t have a Ferrari, I can’t go from zero to P2-billion in one month. I can’t do it… it’s simply not possible. But you know, when this train gets going, it won’t stop,” he stressed.