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Another Pogo firm shut down over P100M in tax debts

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 02:41 PM October 17, 2019

Another Pogo (Philippine offshore gaming operator) service provider was shuttered early on Thursday, Oct. 17, for allegedly failing to pay the taxes of its at least 1,000 mostly Chinese workers.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) served closure orders on the two offices of Altech Innovations Business Outsourcing — its headquarters on the 8th floor of Aseana One building in Parañaque City and a branch on the 6th floor of Double Dragon complex in Pasay City.

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The company’s Chinese employees were ordered to leave before BIR agents padlocked the two offices of Altech.

According to BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa, Altech violated provisions of the National Revenue Code.

After an investigation, Altech was found unregistered for tax purposes as certified by the BIR Paranaque office.

Guballa said the Pogo firm owed the BIR an estimated P100 million in unpaid taxes, which could be higher after the company submits documents.

Unlike other delinquent Pogo firms which were registered as a corporation, Altech is a single proprietorship owned by a certain Jan Erick Lavariaz Altavas. Guballa, however, could not confirm the nationality of the owner.

Guballa said, though, that Altech could resume operations after paying its tax debts and complying with BIR requirements.

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The BIR would coordinate with the Bureau of Immigration to check whether Altech’s Chinese employees had permits to work in the Philippines.

“There should be equal treatment, Filipino or foreigner, they should be paying their taxes in the country because we need these revenue for nation-building,” Guballa said. He said funds were needed especially for President Rodrigo Duterte’s massive infrastructure program “Build, Build, Build” which requires more than P3 trillion.

Last Sept. 25, the BIR also shut down offices of Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corp. in three locations—Quezon City, Paranaque and Subic Freeport—for failing to pay at least P1.3 billion in taxes.

Gegac was back in business two days later after paying an initial amount of P250 million./TSB

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