BIR told to explain failure to get taxes from e-sabong ops

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he would ask the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to explain why it allegedly failed to collect taxes from the winning profits of e-sabong or online cockfighting.

In a prerecorded Talk to the People, Duterte said the Palace did not need a reminder to collect earnings from the e-sabong industry.

“Hindi naman kailangan ng reminder sa Malacañan. Nandiyan ‘yung BIR, so tanungin natin ‘yang BIR bakit hanggang ngayon hindi nakolekta ‘yung estate tax (Malacañang does not need a reminder. The BIR is there so let’s ask BIR why they have not collected the estate tax)," he said.

Duterte said the government has earned millions from the e-sabong industry, which has only been operating for about two years.

“Hindi ko ho hininto kasi kailangan ng pera sa e-sabong ng gobyerno. I’ll make it public now, it’s PHP640 million a month. And in a year’s time, it’s billion plus. Saan tayo maghanap ng pera ng ganoon na kadali na siguro (I didn't stop the operations because the government needed money from e-sabong. I’ll make it public now, it’s PHP640 million a month. And in a year’s time, it’s a billion plus. Where do we find money that easily)?” he added.

During a Senate hearing on the disappearances of 34 sabungeros or cockfighting aficionados on March 21, Senator Francis Tolentino chided the BIR and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) for allegedly failing to withhold the 20 percent tax from the winning profits of e-sabong.

He found out that some e-sabong operations only remitted a minimal amount of fee from the billions of pesos they would earn monthly.

Duterte earlier urged Congress to regulate e-sabong by issuing legislative franchises, noting this would allow more “transparency” in monitoring its activities.

His ally, Senator Ronald "Bato" de la Rosa said senators are looking into transferring the authority to issue permits for e-sabong from Pagcor to Congress. (PNA)



Download our App and Discover the best of Philippines has to offer