Chinese workers employed by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) without proper work permits or who violate tax laws would face deportation under a new inter-agency agreement to be signed in the coming days.
The Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) would apply to Chinese nationals across a broad range of businesses but is specifically targeting POGOs, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told local reporters this week.
Signatories to the JCM will include the Department of Justice, Bureau of Immigration, Department of Labor and Employment, Professional Regulation Commission, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, according to the state-owned Philippine News Agency.
“Appropriate sanctions, including summary deportation, shall be imposed upon foreign workers who shall willfully violate the provisions of the JMC, including non-registration for tax purposes,” Guevarra said.
“Foreign workers employed in POGOs, particularly Chinese nationals, will be covered by this JMC.”
It is estimated that around 150,000 POGO workers are currently employed in the Philippines by around 50 companies.
The recent crackdown on POGO workers comes after Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III stated in March that the Philippines was missing out on an estimated Php3 billion (US$57.5 million) in revenue per month due to a lack of appropriate taxation measures.