The Philippines to punish officials who accepted bribes from POGOs

President Rodrigo Duterte wants officials to be punished.
President Rodrigo Duterte wants officials to be punished.

The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has said he wants officials who accepted bribes from Chinese POGOs.

The Philippines.- President Rodrigo Duterte has said he expects the Department of Justice (DOJ) to punish officials from the Bureau of Immigration who were involved in a bribery scandal related to POGO workers.

Some 43 immigration bureau officials are accused of allowing Chinese nationals who worked at POGOs to enter the country without undergoing checks in exchange for nearly PHP10,000.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said those involved haven’t been dismissed from service yet and have only been suspended.

Roque added: “The impact of Duterte’s message is that the DOJ should perform its mandate to ensure their dismissal as soon as possible. The bribery scheme is not acceptable. They must be fired.”

President Rodrigo Duterte is also pushing for approval of Senate Bill 2232 under which Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) must pay 5 per cent tax on their gross gaming revenue.

The bill would also make foreigners employed in online casinos and their service providers pay 25 per cent income tax

The bill went under some minor changes after passing through The House of Representatives. According to the Department of Finance, one of the changes will require all foreign POGO employees to have a tax identification number. The other prevents the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport from issuing new POGO licences.

Andrea Domingo, PAGCOR chairman, has disagreed with some proposed changes. According to Domingo, some groups want to provide advantages to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO).

Domingo stated: “Special means special. In government there shall be no such thing, all policies, regulations, laws should be uniformly applied.”

In this article: