House of Representatives debates POGO taxation rates

The Ways and Means panel of House of Representatives is debating House Bill No. 5267 of Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, with a variety of views about taxation rates being expressed by lawmakers, according to Inquirer.net.

Salceda’s bill would impose a 5 percent tax rate on the gross receipts of POGO operators and also subject foreigners to a 15 percent tax on salaries, annuities, and other emoluments.

Some lawmakers, such as Minority Leader and Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr., are calling for much steeper tax rates, explaining, “If we are not going to really tax the POGO thing let’s scrap it altogether. The government does not need any kind of gaming that cannot be taxed… We do not want a lot of Chinese people in this country anyway.”

Others, such as Pagcor Senior Manager for Policy Development Jessa Fernandez, are warning the House Ways and Means panel that such an approach may have a negative effect on government revenues.

Salceda contends that his tax hike bill, if passed in its current form, would increase government revenues by about PHP44 billion ($880 million).

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