Mayor: "We don't tolerate illegal businesses in Porac"

Local News Official
Local News OfficialSunStar File Photo

PORAC — Mayor Jaime ‘Jing’ Capil has reiterated that his administration does not permit any businesses, involved in illegal activities, to operate in his municipality.

Capil issued the statement following the discovery and shutdown of Lucky South 99, the mega hub of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators in Pulung Maba here recently.

The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) has uncovered cases of human trafficking, kidnapping, torture, and online scams in the facility.

Capil said the local government had issued a “Letter of No Objection” to the installation of a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) back in 2019.

But the mayor clarified that it was the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) that allowed Lucky South 99 to operate a POGO.

He claimed that PAGCOR is the only government entity allowed to inspect the area.

Capil said there was “a failure of regulation” on the part of PAGCOR because its representatives had been consistently inspecting the operations of Lucky South 99.

He added that PAGCOR could had just revoke the license of Lucky South 99 if it found violations within the premises during its inspection.

“I will not tolerate any illegal activities in Porac town. We allowed this BPO to operate in our town but if Lucky South 99 was involved in illegal activities which PAGCOR did not report, I will support the move to ban POGO in the country,” said Capil.

“Hindi ko po isa alang alang ang kapakanan ng mga taga Porac at ng mga mamamayan ng Pampanga sa mga illegal na gawain sa POGOz Ang POGO po ay ginawang legal ng ating pamahalaan at hindi po kailangang magdusa ang mga tao sa ibaba,” he added.

Capil also referred to Resolution No. 3 Series of 2024 of the Metro Clark Advisory Council (MCAC) “supporting the actions of Clark Development Corporation and Local Government of Mabalacat City deferring the acceptance and processing of POGO applications and their BPO service providers in its concerted efforts to curb POGO-related crimes.”

The advisory council stated “MCAC member LGUs are alarmed over these incidents on POGO operations within the Metro Clark Area and the proliferation of POGO-related crimes such as human trafficking, forcible abduction, homicide, illegal detention, kidnap-for-ransom, theft, robbery-extortion, serious physical injuries, swindling, and grave coercion among others and these may even be considered as predicate crimes for anti-money laundering.”

The MCAC resolution was approved by Capil, Clark Development Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Agnes Devanadera, Mabalacat City Mayor Cris Garbo, Angeles City Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr., and Capas Mayor Roseller Rodriguez.

Capil said he will present documents that Whirlwind Corporation, the owner of the POGO buildings, paid millions of pesos in taxes.

Lucky South 99 pays taxes directly to PAGCOR and the agency dispatched representatives inside the Porac POGO to monitor the facility.

Capil has cited RA No. 11590 or an “Act Taxing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations” which amends certain provisions in the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) to clarify taxes imposed on POGOs.

The amendment prescribes that with respect to POGOs’ gaming income, the entire gross gaming revenue or receipts are subject to a percentage tax of 5%, in lieu of all other direct and indirect internal revenue and local taxes.

“Malinaw po na walang taxes na kinokolekta ang mga LGUs kundi ang buwis na binabayad lamang ng building owner. Ang building owner po ay ang Whirlwind Corporation at nagbayad naman po ng taxes ang Whirldwind,” said Capil.

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