11 POGOs in Paranaque padlocked by BIR

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PARAÑAQUE, Philippines — At least 11 Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) service provider have been padlocked by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in the city of Parañaque Wednesday for not paying correct taxes.

The BIR rolled out the operation at 9 in the morning where several BIR Task Force personnel attacked and padlocked four buildings in separate areas in Parañaque City on which 11 POGOs are allegedly being run mostly by Chinese nationals.

Some of the POGO branches were allegedly owned by New Oriental Club 88 Corp. which has its main office located at Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.

Only the main branch is registered with BIR while the closed branches were not properly listed or registered BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa said.

Before the closure, the BIR accordingly first issued a 48-hour notice for the New Oriental owners to have their branches registered.

The government intensified its campaign against illegal POGOs following the request by the Chinese government to pursue companies illegally recruiting their citizens.

New Oriental is one of the largest companies operating an offshore gaming operation in the country.

It has more than 6,000 Chinese national employees and about 50 Filipino workers. It is also engaged in “customer relations service” and “live streaming studio.”

The tax collected at POGOs in the Philippines is estimated to be up to P20 billion a year even as the Department of Finance has proposed to have their employees pay income taxes. (Gelica Paulo/IAMIGO/CNS)

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