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POGO buildings in Makati, Pasay, Paranaque drowning in a wave of lease terminations

Happy days are over for some building landlords who made a killing from the surge in rentals from Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

Several Babblers reported about a wave of lease terminations in hotbeds of POGOs in Makati , Pasay and Paranaque.

Among the hardest hit are the pioneers in hosting offshore casino providers such RCBC Plaza and PBCom Tower as well as a few towers in Pasay and Paranaque.

One Babbler told us one major POGO has abandoned its lease for 15 floors in a new condo building.

Not only are the landlords suffering, even the support services are feeling the pinch of the POGOs’ absence.

A top fastfood brand which recently opened a branch in the POGO building in Pasay reported daily sales of P10,000 to P20,000 which is barely enough to pay the salary of one employee.

A Babbler said POGOs were not backing down on its standoff with the Bureau of Internal Revenue on taxes.

On one hand, BIR is adamant on collecting the P50 billion back taxes from POGOs before they will be given a tax clearance to reopen their business which has been closed since mid-March due to the enhanced community quarantine.

On the other hand, POGOs are only willing to pay only future taxes to be imposed by the government as they refuse to hand out more cash in view of the pandemic and declining clientele in China due to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on offshore gambling. At this point, the Babbler said POGOs have already one foot out of the door and ready to go to Europe, Vietnam and Cambodia (old licenses still operating, only new licenses are banned).

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