Jimmy Bondoc Explains the Reasons Why POGO Should Reopen

Veteran singer and former celebrity turned public servant, Jimmy Bondoc, the head of PAGCOD-CSRG (Social Responsibility) team explained the main reasons why there's a need for the reopening of POGO operations in the country as approved by the President.



Jimmy Bondoc reminded everybody that they are free to hate him, but from where he can see it, we really need POGO to operate again. He warned that it will soon be all over the news that the POGO operations will resume soon.

So before the media spinsters get to you and plant anger in your consciousness, Bondoc explained the real reasons why there is POGO operations in the country. As a disclaimer, Bondoc noted that he is not a gambler but he simply worked at the Social Responsibility department of PAGCOR taht ensures all earnings of the country from legalized g*****ng are put to good and honorable use.

Jimmy Bondoc cited some facts regarding the said operations of the controversial online games played mostly by Chinese nationals from China.

Bondoc also assured that the system of resuming operations will be restructured, and he is confident that there will not be any transmissions.

Although nothing is sure, but if we have to restart the Philippine economy, it's best to start with a BPO operations whose clients are abroad. POGO employees will be operating in "quarantine."



Read the Complete Statement of Jimmy Bondoc:

POGO TO REOPEN

Please don’t bash me immediately.
Please read this.
Think independently.
Then, bash me
But… PLEASE, for the love of logic, please READ this, at least. READ.
It is so boring, yet so critical to our survival during this time.
But the President’s opponents would definitely oppose this move by PAGCOR, because the end result will surely strengthen the President’s position.
As for me, all I can see from where I sit is that we NEED this.
So, please feel free to hate me and others like me.
But please, READ.

It will soon be all over the news that the POGO operations will resume soon.
To people who do not know what POGOs are exactly, POGO seems like an evil thing, immediately.
It seems like we are prioritizing “gambling” and “casinos” in terms of resuming economic activities.
That is the narrative of POGO’s detractors.



I always say this disclaimer: I am not a gambler. Not even online.
I am in PAGCOR-CSRG (Social Responsibility) simply to make sure the earnings of the country from legalized gambling are put to good and honorable use.
That is my life now, and almost nothing else takes up my time.

So before the media spinsters get to you and plant anger in your consciousness,
give me a chance to give you some facts.
Let’s tackle the Frequently Asked Questions one by one:

I. WHAT THE HECK IS POGO?
To the unaware, POGOs are NOT the land-based casinos. When you think POGO, think of those Online Poker sites you may have swiped through at some point in your life.
However, if you are a Filipino, and have actually placed a bet online, it was certainly not through the POGOs we are referring to, not those that PAGCOR regulates.
Our POGOs are only accessible by NON-Filipinos. Even a Filipino residing in China would NOT be able to play online due to certain ID requirements and such.

II. IS THE RE-OPENING OF POGOS A GOOD THING OR A BAD THING?
It might not look like it, but today is a great day! The President and the IATF have approved the partial resumption of POGO operations.



I know that it is NEVER worth any amount of money if we end up transmitting this deadly virus.
But from the way the system of resuming operations will be restructured, I am confident that there will NOT be any transmissions.
How can I be sure?

Well, nothing is sure. But if we have to restart the economy, isn’t it best to start with a BPO operation whose clients are abroad?
And more pertinently, isn’t it a good thing that POGO employees will be operating “in quarantine?”
And by the way, YES. POGOs are, in fact, simply BPO operations here. I can explain that later.

POGO employees will either be operating and staying in their places of operation, or will be transported by private buses from their residences to their offices, and back. No one is allowed to take public transport.

These Chinese workers have also been in the country long before the pandemic. They were here BEFORE the lockdown.
Whatever air they have been breathing is pretty much the same air we have been breathing all this time.

But PAGCOR will take no risks. We will conduct CoVid testing for ALL employees. Anyone found positive shall, obviously, not be allowed to work, and shall be quarantined for treatment in CoVid referral hospitals.



III. ILLEGAL POGOs
There is always fear that these “evil” POGO operators are operating clandestinely. BUT…
Actually, THERE IS NO SUCH THING as illegal POGOs.
There are, however, illegal online gaming operators.

If they are legally registered with PAGCOR, they are considered POGOs, from whom we earn regulatory fees.
But if they are illegal, they are best called something else.
Congressman Koko Nograles actually calls them “NO-GO!”
In one congressional meeting in which I was included, he lightheartedly called them
“NON-REGISTERED Offshore Gaming Operators.”

Thus, NOGO.
That is actually more accurate.
POGO if legal, NOGO if illegal.

Let me ask you a question: has the world successfully stopped Online Pornography?
We all know the answer to that. When we were young, the porn industry and porn were existent, but not ubiquitous.



You had to find a friend who was brave enough to steal his father’s hidden stash or courageous enough to rent the betamax from the back room of the rental place.
But now? Well…
one click. Right?

Gambling Online is the same troublesome phenomenon. It has become nearly impossible to curtail.
But the government can’t just stop trying.
POGO and the regulatory fees that come from it is actually a success by the government to regulate this morally grey industry.

IV. ARE THE POGOs TAX EVADERS?
I only know the BASICS of Taxation. I would have been learning that by now in law school, but… lockdown  so…

However, I do know the basics regarding the Situs of Taxation. To a layman (which I am), this seems to be a very foreign concept.
But to lawyers and tax experts, this is elementary. It is that great divide of understanding that causes confusion, because to legal experts, they already know that you can only tax:



1) domestic corporations (those registered under our laws); or
2) foreign corporations that are engaged in business in the country, or their specific activities that generated income for them from our country.

But the relentless advancement of the internet has challenged all traditional concepts, and has created wide, grey theoretical vacuums, where traditional answers fail to sufficiently address. One such issue is POGO. BUT LET ME BE CLEAR. I have NO LEGAL OPINION on the matter. I leave that up to the experts. I can only explain, at least, what the argument is about.

POGO is one big industry where the end product is gaming. It is made up of 3 separate segments:
(1) Players (obviously);
(2) E-Casino Operators;
(3) SUPPORT SERVICES and PRODUCTION.

THE FIRST TWO ARE LOCATED ABROAD.
THE THIRD COMPONENT IS WHAT IS LOCATED IN OUR COUNTRY.
THIS IS THE BPO.



These are outsourced services that they provide for the E-Casino Operators. They only supply the gaming contents and platforms, and call center support services.

IT IS TRUE THAT BETTING IS INVOLVED IN POGO.
OF COURSE.
BUT THAT PART OF THE BUSINESS IS PERFORMED ABROAD.
IN SHORT, POGO IS A SUPPORT SERVICE TO THE BETTING ABROAD, AND IS THEREFORE AN ALLIED BUSINESS.

DOES THIS SEEM LIKE AN “EXCUSE?’
Well, some initially think so.
But this is actually a USUAL and ACCEPTED PRACTICE for BPOs.
A BANK ABROAD may have its BACK OFFICE here,
but is the BPO here considered a bank?
Of course not.

So… The main question to be answered is: do POGOs have unpaid taxes?
And the answer of traditional law proponents is: NO.

You see, there are 2 types of POGO corporations.
There are LOCAL (domestic) corporations, who were created by registering in our SEC.
And there are FOREIGN corporations, registered elsewhere.

Let’s not talk anymore about domestic corporations. Of course, they have to pay taxes.



But what about Foreign POGOs? Do they have to pay taxes?
Well, in a simplified sense, tax books explain that the only taxable income that Foreign Corporations are liable for are those incomes derived from revenue-generating activities that they conducted here.

So the Key Question is: are the Foreign POGOs operating here?
BIR says “Yes.”
PAGCOR says “No.”
Some respected lawmakers say, “Yes.”
The Office of the Solicitor General says, “No.”

What do I say? Well, I don’t have the credentials to pose a legitimate legal opinion.
So I leave that up to the experts for now.
But what I am trying to make clear is this: that there is an obvious ambiguity.
There are opposing opinions from legitimate sources.

So, are there unpaid taxes by POGO?
From where I sit, we can only call them “unpaid taxes” if the obligation to pay them is made clear and definite.
And tax students know that in case of doubt, tax statutes are construed liberally in favor of the taxpayer.

SHOULD we tax foreign POGOs?
That is up to our legislators. That’s not up to us.
What should be made clear is: though they do not pay taxes here, their SERVICE PROVIDERS based here DO pay taxes.



V. ARE POGO EMPLOYEES ALL FOREIGNERS?
NOPE. Among the 121,022 employees of POGOs in the country, there are 31,566 Filipino direct hires. Obviously, there are more foreigners, mostly Chinese to be accurate, but this is due to the language barrier. Filipinos cannot easily learn the Chinese language well enough to be able to serve as call center agents that can converse effectively with the Chinese clientele.

VI. CONCLUSION
So, whoever feels like I am defending gambling is free to believe that.
But I have a right to clarify my position.
I believe gambling to be an inherent part of human nature and society, which is potentially harmful to communities, yet when left unregulated, can thrive undetected and controlled by the darkest political and private interests.

It is a dangerous nuclear weapon, and I hate that it exists.
But if a nuclear weapon must exist, the least of all evils is that it be in the hands of government,
because it would be absurd to give control over it to private hands which we can never control.

This economic standstill may kill just as viciously as the virus itself, and the reopening of certain industries, including POGOs, is a relief, in my opinion. The economic paralysis will soon be over, and PAGCOR is here to make sure that it is never at the expense of public health and safety.
It’s a dirty job.

The best that we can do with these grey aspects of life is to put them in the hands of a good government, so that its earnings may be put to noble use.
To my family and friends who are concerned, please do not worry. I am doing my small but hopefully significant part to keep government good and honest.
I know I am small and essentially powerless, but I promise you my best effort.

Source: Jimmy Bondoc FB Page

Jimmy Bondoc Explains the Reasons Why POGO Should Reopen Jimmy Bondoc Explains the Reasons Why POGO Should Reopen Reviewed by Phil Newsome on May 02, 2020 Rating: 5
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