Philippines to cancel POGOs’ foreign workers permits

Philippines to cancel POGOs’ foreign workers permits

The Department of Labor is waiting on confirmation from PAGCOR to automatically revoke POGOs’ foreign workers’ permits.

Philippines.- Just a day after it was confirmed that some Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) are leaving the country, their foreign workers look likely to be left without permits.

The Philippines News Agency has reported that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is revoking the alien employment permits (AEPs) of all foreign workers who were employed by the POGOs that have abandoned the country.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in an interview: “Workers have no right to work since the operator has already left. They can apply again since we have to make sure that the operator that will hire them is paying taxes.”

DOLE says it is waiting on official confirmation from the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) regarding the POGOs that have left the country in order to proceed with revoking all connected work permits.

The government has made clear in recent days that POGOs that have outstanding tax debts with the Bureau of Internal Revenue will not be allowed to resume operations following the easing of the community quarantine implemented in Philippines due to spread of Covid-19.

The Philippines government expects to collect about P20 billion (USD399million) from POGOs in 2020, but many of the firms argue that they are not obliged to pay the 5 per cent franchise tax paid by local operators because they are not based in the country.

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