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tttflltEllll September r8, u or9


4 House leadersseek
probeof Pogoindustry
By DJ Yap online casinos include the Armed
@qeeEvqllryo _ Forces headquarters at Camp
Aguinaldo, the Philippine Na-
Four House leaders led by Deputy tional Police headquarters at
Speaker Eddie Villanueva and Mi- Camp crame, the Air Force head-
nority Leader Bienvenido Abante quarters in Pasay City, the Philip-
Jr. are calling for a congressional pine Army headquarteqs in
inquiry into the Philippine off- Taguig City, the Philippine Navy
shore gaming operators (Pogo) in- headquarters on Roxas Boule-
dustry amid the influx of undocu- vard and Sangley Point in Cavite.
mented foreign workerg most of
whom do not pay any ta,\es. Eddie Villanueva -RTCHARDA. Lost taxes
Touchyissues " threats do these Pogo hubs near
. At the center of the planned ly collect revenues from its oper- "The fact that we cannot our defense installations repre-
House investigation are touchy ations," the proponents said. even accurately account for sent? These and other concerns
issues surounding the employ- Besides Abarte and Villanri€- these workers is troubling. If we are what we want to address in
ment of mair y Chinese Pogo va, tlle otler autiors of the mea- have problems with regard to an inquiry," Abante said.
workers, such as nonpayment of sure are Manila Rep. Manuel Luis their documentation, then we He dso cited a Depatment of
income taxes, violations of immi- Lopez and Muntinlupa Rep. Roz- will definitely have issues prop- Finance (DOF) estimate that t}Ie
gration and labor laws, and possi- zano Rufino Biazon. erly determining revenue col- govemment was losing P2 billion
ble security threats drising from In a staGment, Abante said AIe lection," saidAbante. a month in personal income taxes
the proximity of Pogo hubs to inquiry was long overdue "given that were not being collected
military and police camps. the numerous issues tlat have sur- Pogo hubs near camps from t}Ie Pogo workers.
On Monday, the lawmakers faced regarding the Pogo industry." Aside ftom the revenue losses,. Earlier this month, Finance As-
filed House Resolution No. 337 . "Department of Labor data Abante said he and the other law- sistant Secretary Antonio lambino
urging Congress to launch an in- shows that there are 63,855 docu- makers were disturbed by reports II was quoted as saying "our esti-
quiry into the estimated uo,ooo mented foreign nationals wprk- tllat Pogo hubs had been estab- nate is Arat P2 billion a month {isl
aliens working in Polos. ing in the Pogo industry. But .lished in what Defense Secretary not being collected ftom personal
The objective of the inquiry is tlere are some estimates that DeLfin lorerzi.rn described as income taxes, and that is why an
to amend laws "to allow tlle go\/- peg the number at po,ooo, and "sh-ategic locations," spuring intengency task force has been
emment to effectively regulate until today the government is speculatiods of Chinese espionage. formed by the DOF in order to
the indusey and to ensure that still reconciling its data," the Some Philippine defense ir- make sure who is here in the coun-
the government is able to proper- Manila representative said. stallations that are near Chinese tyworking in the sector." hlQ