In the Philippines and President Rodrigo Duterte (pictured) has reportedly signed legislation into law to institute a new tax regime for those firms holding a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) license.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the 75-year-old leader officially put his signature to Republic Act 11590 earlier today so as to oblige all iGaming operators holding a POGO license to hand over 5% of their monthly gross gaming revenues in tax. The source detailed that the move from the controversial figure is all part of a nationwide plan to boost state revenues in order to help the country’s campaign to quickly emerge from the financial disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Philippines is home to over 109 million people and the new legislation also reportedly mandates that every firm holding a POGO license assign their foreign workers with individualized tax identification numbers. These companies are furthermore set to be required to hand over a minimum monthly duty of $250 for every one of these employees and pay a 25% ‘withholding tax’ on the wages of those pulling down at least $11,900.
Reportedly reads a section of Republic Act 11590…
“All offshore gaming licensees and service providers shall submit to the Bureau of Internal Revenue the original copy of notarized contract of employment clearly stating therein the annual salary and other benefits and entitlements of the concerned alien.”
Harry Roque serves as an official spokesperson for Duterte’s administration and he reportedly disclosed that 80% of the proceeds from the new POGO tax regime are to be put towards funding public health programs including the implementation of the nation’s Universal Health Care Act. The former politician purportedly moreover explained that the remaining 20% will be utilized to help the country attain the sustainable development goals earlier laid out by its National Economic and Development Authority.
Inside Asian Gaming additionally reported that local firms supplying POGO license holders with their services are to be exempt from the new tax regime although remaining subject to local and national duties that could prove to be costlier. It finished by divulging that Republic Act 11590 was proposed late last year as a way of establishing a new over-arching iGaming tax structure free from franchise fees, levies and duties with its ratification being delayed by protests from operators running out of one of the nation’s many special economic areas such as the Subic Bay Freeport Zone or the Clark Freeport Zone.