Leila M. de Lima, a Philippines Senator, has filed an inquiry about the workers who do not have required appropriate work permits to work at the gaming and gambling facilities owned and operated by foreign groups. His inquiry is focused on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) facilities.
In his statement, De Lima said, “Given the huge discrepancy between the number of foreign POGO workers in the Philippines and tax revenue from them, there is a need to document all foreign workers to ensure the legality of their presence and identify their taxpayer classification to determine their corresponding tax liability accurately.”
He raised concerns over the government losing tax revenues as illegal workers in foreign-owned establishments in the POGO sector do not pay income tax. According to De Lima, Philippines loses PHP 3 billion in tax revenue annually which makes it telling that he raises the issues of illegal workers in the POGO sector.
Ninety-five thousand foreign nationals are actively working in POGOs as of June 2018. The Department of Justice (DoJ), estimates the figures which also includes foreign workers with temporary work permits.
Senator DeLima wants the government to enact a law “that would increase our capability to meet the increasing challenges in implementing our laws on resident foreign nationals.”
Earlier Senator Lima had also blamed the Duterte government about not being active and committed in their operations to stop high-stake gambling related kidnappings in the country.
Critical of the current situation he also warned that inter-agency differences “could lead to serious issues, including those of criminality, national security, and possible abuse of our citizens by undocumented foreign nationals.”