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The Senate of the Philippines on Wednesday, June 2 approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 2232 or An Act Taxing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs).
Voting 17-3-0, the Senate passed the bill the same day they passed it on second reading. The senators were able to skip the three-day rule after President Rodrigo Duterte certified the bill as urgent.
Only Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon, and senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros opposed the measure.
SB 2232 requires all offshore gaming licensees, Philippine or foreign-based, to pay a 5-percent gaming tax on the gross gaming revenue or receipts derived from their gaming operations.
The measure would also require a 25-percent withholding tax on the gross income of foreign individuals employed by POGOs, as well as their service providers. It provides a minimum final withholding tax due of P12,500 for any taxable month.
According to Senator Pia Cayetano who sponsored the bill in the Senate plenary as chair of the committee on ways and means, the new taxes on POGOs will generate multi-billion pesos worth of government revenues in 2021 and 2022.
Cayetano said that collections from POGOs are projected at P28.7 billion in 2021 and P32 billion the next year.