Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a three-day deadline for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) to pay outstanding taxes after being issued with demand letters or face heavy sanctions.
Speaking with CNN Philippines, Duterte said that his government would not tolerate foreign companies failing to pay their taxes after latest figures showed that less than Php2 billion in withdrawing taxes had been collected so far in 2019. That’s despite 130 demand letters having been sent to POGOs in pursuit of liabilities totaling Php21.62 billion.
“I’m giving you at least three days,” Duterte said. “That’s good enough, fair enough. Do you think it’s fair, three days? What do you think as a Filipino? Three days would be a kind of a good grace period for them.”
The Philippines Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has already shut down the operations of three POGOs for failure to pay taxes this year, including Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corp which was subsequently allowed to re-open after paying its initial fee of Php250 million and committing to pay its remaining tax liabilities within three months.
The BIR collected Php175 million from POGOs in 2017 and Php579 million in 2018.