Duterte gives POGOs 3 days to fix tax liabilities 

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Metro Manila (November 29, CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte gives Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) an ultimatum — settle your tax liabilities in three days.

The President gave this deadline in an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines on Friday.

"They are now ordered to register with the BIR and kumuha ng tag number... You better settle that utang or else gawin ko kayong pugo," Duterte said, making a pun on the Filipino word for quails (pugo).

[Translation: They are now ordered to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and get a tag number... you better settle your liabilities or else I'll turn you into quails.]

Asked about the deadline, he initially said 24 hours then changed it to three days.

"Huwag ninyong lokohin ang Pilipino kasi ang Pilipino hindi loko-loko," Duterte said.

[Translation: Don't fool around with Filipinos because Filipinos are not fools.]

The BIR started its crackdown on POGOs on September 25, when it shut down an operator for non-payment of taxes.

This is based on Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez's order close down all POGOs that fail to settle tax liabilities. According to him, POGOs operating here have approximately ₱21.62 billion in unpaid taxes.

Latest BIR data shows that a total of ₱1.63 billion in witholding taxes was collected from POGOs and service providers from January to August this year. The bureau collected ₱579 million in 2018 and ₱175 million in 2017.

READ: BIR shuts down POGO service provider in Parañaque for failing to pay taxes

A bill has also been filed at the House of Representatives to tax POGOs and their foreign workers by 15 percent of their salaries, wages, annuities, compensation, remuneration, and other emoluments.

READ: Bill sets 15% tax on foreign POGO workers