Senator Hontiveros Says POGOs Shouldn’t Be Leaving Philippines Without Paying
POGOs LEAVING? – The Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) have yet to pay their taxes, but, some already plan of moving out of the country.
As such, Senator Risa Hontiveros stressed that the government “should not allow them to escape accountability and justice”. Throughout their run, POGOs were reported to have amassed some P50 billion worth of unpaid taxes.
Meanwhile, even with this amount of unpaid dues, the government somehow allowed some POGOs to run amid the pandemic. This caused citizens to question the move which the government attributed to “fundraising” for COVID-19 responses.
According to an article from Inquirer, Hontiveros stated:
Let’s be clear: Hindi kailangan ng Pilipinas ang isang industriya na walang ibang hatid kundi krimen, pang-aabuso, at pambibiktima ng Pilipino, lalo na laban sa kababaihan at mga menor de edad.
Furthermore, she emphasized that POGOs who were linked to crimes such as kidnapping, human trafficking, prostitution of women and children, unfair labor practice must be persecuted to the fullest extend of the law .
Moreover, the closure of the POGOs would also cause around 30,000 Filipino employees to be out of work. Because of this, Hontiveros urged the government to prioritize assisting these people first.
As per the article, Hontiveros said:
The sudden closure of these POGOs should not allow them to escape accountability and justice. Huwag natin payagan na pagkatapos nila kumita ng bilyon-bilyon dito sa ating bansa sa loob ng ilang taon, ay biglang tatakbuhan na lang ng mga POGO ang utang nilang buwis.
She added that the few billion pesos the government said that POGOs have brought to the country could never justify the abuse of Filipino women and children, corruption of boarder officials, and elevated criminality.