THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will start to collect taxes this month from foreign workers employed by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said. “I talked to the BIR end of last week and they said they are already in position to start collections from foreign workers in the POGO industry,” Mr. Dominguez told reporters in Pasay City on Monday. “BIR said they will start making the collections in July,” Mr. Dominguez added. He noted that the government foregoes revenue of about P2 billion a month for every 100,000 foreign workers that do not pay tax, amounting to P24 billion a year. Earlier, the BIR said that foreign nationals and non-residents planning to work in the Philippines should obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) before securing a work permit. “Calls have been made for a public inquiry into the proliferation of foreign workers in the country,” the bureau has said.
Gov’t tightens rules on issuance of work permits for foreigners. Guidelines tightening rules in regulating the issuance of work permits for foreign nationals have been jointly approved by various government agencies, Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Labor Day. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente, and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Caesar Dulay signed the joint guidelines at the Kingsborough International Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga. “The Joint Guidelines regulate the issuance of special work permits (SWP), provisional work permits (PWP), and alien employment permits (AEP),” the DOJ said in a statement. The DOJ explained the joint guidelines was drafted “to clarify, among others, the work in which an alien may be allowed, the permits required of them, and address the overlap in the areas of responsibility of the agencies and offices as regards the issuance of those permits.”
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Sunday said there was no need for legislators to intervene to stop the influx of Chinese nationals illegally working in the Philippines. Guevarra admitted that there were problems in the implementation of immigration laws on foreign workers, but said these could be addressed through closer coordination between the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole). Due to the surge in illegal Chinese workers, a proposal was made in the Senate to strip the BI of the authority to issue special work permits. No need to amend law But Guevarra opposed this.