Sherwin Gatchalian has called on the Senate to hold an inquiry on the uncollected taxes from registered and unregistered foreign workers, especially those in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) industry.
In calling for an investigation, Gatchalian stressed that taxes properly collected are essential since revenues enable the government to provide needed services to the people.
“All foreign individuals, whether a resident or not of the Philippines, are liable to pay income tax under the law, on their taxable income derived from all sources within the Philippines, while their respective employers are liable to withhold and remit their contributions,” Gatchalian said in introducing Senate Resolution 89.
The recent surge of foreign workers in the Philippines, particularly Chinese, had been attributed to the emergence of POGOs, whose clients are mostly Chinese.
The Department of Labor and Employment said as many as 130,000 workers in POGO hubs were unregistered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and were not paying taxes, causing the government to lose as much as P22.5 billion due to uncollected taxes.
Gatchalian emphasized the need to review the government’s capability to enforce tax, immigration and labor laws to ensure foreign workers can contribute to the country’s economic growth.
“It is imperative for the Senate to conduct an assessment and careful analysis to determine how these tax collection agencies can better perform their enforcement functions prior to introducing another set of laws, which these agencies may have a difficulty implementing,” the senator said.