The government recently allowed the reopening of Philippine offshore gaming operators or POGO amid COVID outbreak. According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, online gambling services are part of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, making it allowable in the quarantine guidelines. Moreover, a skeleton workforce (30% of employees) can report for work.
“Ang POGO po talaga ay BPO,” states Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Moreover, according to Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairperson Andrea Domingo, there is a need to keep the industry operational as revenues can be a significant source of funds for the government’s fight against COVID.
“Essential ito kasi we need revenues. Revenue-generating. Employment-generating. But with no threat in spreading COVID-19,” states Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairperson Andrea Domingo.
Domingo reiterates that they are coordinating with the BIR closely.
“Kaya nga kami hindi namin papayagan mag-resume ng operation sinuman na hindi cinertify ng BIR na paid up lahat ng taxes nila as of March 2020 at sila ay registered sa BIR. So, we are coordinating with BIR very closely. That is included in our requirements,” she adds.
Roque also backs the statement of Domingo that revenue will be directed to COVID efforts.
“Lahat ng proceeds na kikitain ng BPOs na galing sa POGO ay lahat ilalaan, 100 percent, dito sa gastusin related sa COVID-19,” adds Roque. Read more: Gov’t allows POGOs to partially reopen amid community quarantine, an article by CNN Philippines.