DOF, expected to earn P2-B monthly tax from POGO industry foreign workers

Maris Federez   •   July 6, 2019   •   1668

Courtesy: Pixabay

The Department of Finance (DOF) has created an inter-agency task force with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Immigration (BI), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in intensifying the imposition of taxes on foreign workers in the country.

DOF Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino noted the increasing number of foreign workers in the country who do not pay taxes.

“It’s not fair to the Filipino worker who is paying taxes regularly when we have foreign nationals working here and not paying taxes. Because they use the same roads. Nakikinabang naman sila sa mga ilaw sa gabi, sa ating mga kalsada, kung anu-ano pang services na meron [They benefit from the electricity, from our roads, and from other services we have],” Lambino said.

The DOF official also said the country can earn 32 billion pesos every year from the tax that can be collected from 138,000 foreign workers in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO) industry.

A data from DOLE shows that 84% of employees of the 182 POGOs that are registered in the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) are foreign nationals, most of which are Chinese.

This prompted the task force to come up with a joint memorandum circular which states that the DOLE will not release an alien employment permit to a foreign national who has no tax identification number issued by the BIR.

The DOLE and the BIR will also come up with a database that will set a solid data on the total number of foreign workers in the country and to have a strict monitoring in the taxation of these workers.

The BIR has also issued notices to other POGO providers to remind them to pay taxes that have now reached P4-Billion. (with reports from Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

BI employees wear face masks amid risk of 2019-nCoV

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 29, 2020

Employees-on-duty at the headquarters of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) voluntarily wore masks amid the risk of the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Although there are still no confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the country, BI personnel remain vigilant by wearing masks to prevent any health risks.

Immigration Spokesperson Krizia Sandoval said their employees in the main headquarters are transacting with hundreds of foreigners everyday, so they voluntarily decided to wear face masks.

“For our front line personnel we advise them po to wear protective masks na rin wala namang mawawala kung sila ay magsusuot ng mga mask para po maprotektahan ang kanilang mga sarili (we advise them to wear protective masks. There is no harm in wearing one to protect yourself),” she said.

The Immigration official also said that even the individuals visiting their offices are also wearing masks.

The BI previously advised their front line personnel at airports to wear personal protective equipment like face masks for their protection.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

3 passengers bound for Jeju, South Korea stopped at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   January 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have intercepted three male passengers allegedly attempting to leave for Jeju, South Korea in the guise of being tourists.

The Bureau of Immigration’s travel control and enforcement unit (BI-TCEU) said the trio were stopped at the departure area of NAIA Terminal 1 on January 22 before they could board their flight to Hong Kong en route to Jeju.

BI-TCEU chief Ma. Timotea Barizo said the three passengers initially claimed they are working in the country and that they were going to the popular holiday destination in Korea for a vacation.

“But what sparked the curiosity of our officers is when the trio showed seemingly-spurious company IDs that… they showed as proof of local employment,” Barizo said.

The three also appeared to not know each other despite presenting themselves as traveling companions, she added.

When questioned, Barizo said the trio later admitted that they were recruited by a man they met on Facebook and who convinced them to book their flight to Korea.

“There was no assurance, however, that jobs really awaited them upon arriving in Jeju. They were just told that somebody would contact them when they arrived there,” Barizo said.

“They were promised work as radish farmers, and were offered huge salaries,” she added.

The immigration official also said the passengers have admitted they each spent P30,000 in engaging the services of a tour operator, which their recruiter said would book their flight and arrange their trip to Jeju.

“They were duped by their recruiter and travel agents who were only after their money,” Barizo added.

The men were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance and further investigation, the BI said.

DOLE opens internship program for 600 families in Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 28, 2020

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has opened an internship program for 600 families in Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas.

DOLE’s government internship program aims to provide temporary jobs to the families affected by the Taal eruption.

Individuals under the internship program will work eight hours a day with one hour lunch break. They will earn P400 a day or P12,000 per month. Only one member per family is allowed to become a beneficiary of the internship program.

Myrna Devilla, one of the beneficiaries, said they help with the cleaning of the evacuation centers in preparation for the resumption of classes. She also said the internship program helps them earn enough money for their daily needs.

“Malaking tulong rin iyon sa amin para pang-kuwan sa aming pangangailangan (It is a huge help for us to sustain our needs),” she said.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

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