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Different ecozones charge different rates

Dominguez wants uniform fees slapped on POGOs

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:12 AM April 22, 2022

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has ordered incentives-granting ecozones hosting Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) to harmonize and streamline the fees charged from such operations.

In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Finance (DOF) said the secretariat of the interagency Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) recently found 32 Pogo licensees and their respective service providers registered with the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza); three service providers registered with the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (Afab); five registered service providers with the Clark Development Corp.; and one service provider registered with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

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Registered enterprises enjoyed the tax-free and other fiscal perks being extended by investment promotion agencies (IPAs).

The FIRB noted that in Ceza, “registered Pogos are required to pay $200,000 for the application and processing fee, and $500,000 to avail of a master license, which is applicable for interactive gaming and land-based casinos”—and these rates were different in other IPAs.

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“In terms of the application, processing and renewal fees for e-casino and sports betting, the IPAs charge varying fees ranging from $10,000 to $25,000. Meanwhile, for the Pogo service providers including those offering business process outsourcing and information technology support services, the application, processing and renewal fees normally range from $10,000 to $50,000,” the FIRB said.

No uniformity

“Clearly, there is no uniformity in the fees charged by the IPAs to their registered Pogo companies when in fact, they all fall under the same type of project,” Finance Assistant Secretary and FIRB secretariat head Juvy Danofrata was quoted by the DOF as saying.

As such, Danofrata said that Dominguez, who as DOF Secretary also chaired the FIRB, had instructed “to look into the inconsistent charges set by the IPAs, which most likely does not only apply to the Pogos registered under them, with the end view of streamlining the collection and use of such fees charged investors or locators.”

Under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Law, “the FIRB may prescribe the appropriate policy on how the IPAs will charge their respective fees,” Danofrata noted.

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TAGS: Carlos Dominguez III, Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos)
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