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By Prince Golez

There is no exodus of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) in the country, Malacañang clarified.

In a virtual presser Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said only around 20 out of 60 POGOs were issued a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) clearance for resumption of operations.

“Wala naman pong malakihang exodus,” according to Roque.

“Ang nangyari po ay mga 20 plus lang out of 60 ang nag-comply doon sa requirement ng BIR ‘no. So hindi naman po exodus iyan dahil malinaw naman po ang naging polisiya ng Department of Finance – pay up otherwise hindi kayo pupuwedeng mag-POGO operations dito,” he explained.

The Palace official added that one POGO firm had left the country after the Chinese government suspected them of funding demonstrators.

“May isang kumpanya lang po na umalis na ang kadahilanan ay sinusupetsa po sila ng Mainland China na nagpopondo daw ng mga demonstrators pero iyan naman po’y kaisa-isahan lang kumpanya ‘no. So ang tingin ko the word ‘exodus’ is not correct,” he said.

“Marami pong hindi nag-comply doon sa requirement na kinakailangan magbayad ng franchise tax ang mga POGOs na dapat ikatuwa noong mga tumututol sa POGOs. So ngayon po, more or less beinte na lang po ang mga POGOng natitira, initially po mayroon tayong mga 60 plus licenses issued by PAGCOR,” he concluded.

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