The BIR says many companies will not return until there’s a vaccine for Covid-19 and tax rates are lowered.
The Philippines.- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has confirmed that only 15 Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) currently remain operational out of the 63 that were legally authorised to carry out gambling operations in the country before the pandemic.
Officials from the BIR said many of the firms will only return once there is a vaccine for Covid-19 which allows the resumption of business in regular conditions.
BIR sources said POGOs are also demanding lower tax rates to return after the country passed a legislative amendment to change how gaming taxes are calculated.
After the Philippine government passed an economic recovery package known as Bayanihan 2, POGOs now have to pay a 5 per cent tax on turnover as well as 15 per cent of the salaries of their foreign workers as income tax. They also have to pay 2 per cent of gross winnings to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) as a licence fee.
The workforce in the gaming sector has dropped by about 70 per cent. Many Chinese workers did not return to the Philippines after leaving for the Chinese New Year celebrations.