House to hear proposals on POGOs

congress house of representatives

THE House of Representatives ways and means committee will hold hearings on the risks of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs), many of whom employ Chinese nationals, and decide whether they should stay in the country, according to Albay Rep. Joey S. Salceda.

“It has returns,” Mr. Salceda, who heads the ways and means committee, told reporters yesterday. “It has high risk — high risk-high return for the Philippines as an economy,” he added.

The congressman was asked to comment on China’s request for the Philippines to ban POGOs in the country.

He noted that POGOs are legal under the franchise of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).

The Finance department has threatened to shut down POGOs found evading withholding income taxes from their workers.

The agency has issued 130 letter-notices to operators with P21.62 billion in tax liabilities, it said. — ALB

House bodies to form TWG on OFWs agency

TWO House of Representatives committees have agreed to form a technical working group that will consolidate 31 bills seeking to create a Department of Overseas Filipino Workers.

Batangas Rep. Mario A. Mariño, who heads the committee on government reorganization, said Filipino workers overseas had sought the creation of the agency.

Creating a department to address their problem is a small cost compared with $38 billion they send home, the lawmaker said

Mr. Salceda also said his committee would study the Customs Brokers Act to see if President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s wish to remove brokers from the Bureau of Customs could be accommodated. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras