Press Release
November 27, 2019

Statement of Senator Joel Villanueva on the recent raid of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Parañaque City closing the operations of a POGO service provider for failing to pay taxes

We welcome the recent operation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue this morning at Parañaque City where it shuttered a service provider in the Philippine offshore gaming operations sector for failing to register its branch offices in the city to pay taxes. We credit our finance department for their relentless effort to keep business in check especially in settling their obligations to the government. The Philippines is always open for business as long as companies conform with prevailing requirements and pay its correct taxes due to the government.

We could only hope that the BIR's steely determination rubs off on the inter-agency task force assembled to stem the tide that is the influx of illegal workers. Since its organization in May, it has yet to mount a single round of joint inspections similar to the BIR's effort. Agencies concerned like the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in particular should be at the forefront of inspections such as this. They should be coordinating with the member-agencies of the inter-agency task force consistent with their mandate.

Had representatives from the DOLE and BI joined the BIR's operation this morning, a proper labor inspection in the office premises could have been done, while immigration officials could have inspected the work visas of the employees. We could have maximized the opportunity that BIR already had.

We expect DOLE to stay committed to its mandate under the Labor Code to only accept foreign workers in the country if there are no other capable, able, and willing Filipino to do the job. For its part, we look forward to the fruit of BI's commitment during the Senate's deliberation on their budget to issue guidelines clarifying the its working definitions of the 14 occupations for which it could issue special work permits.

We hope that the inter-agency task force gets to fulfill the mandate they are supposed to do, and that is to prevent illegal foreign workers from coming into our country and take jobs away from Filipinos.

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