COMPUTERIZE OPS. House of Representatives’ chairman of the committee on Games and Amusement and Abra Rep. Joseph Sto. Niño Bernos on Thursday (Mar. 5, 2020) said there is a need to computerize the operations and systems of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation franchisees to allow the government to monitor their actual activities and operations. He also said he is okay with the operation of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators as long as they operate legally and pay the government the correct taxes. (PNA photo by Liza T. Agoot)

BANGUED, Abra – The chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Games and Amusement on Thursday said computerization of the operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) franchisees will assure that proper taxes are remitted to the government.

Abra District Rep. Joseph Sto. Niño Bernos said he will propose the computerization of the processes and operations as a deterrent to “hidden” information.

“Computerize it. You computerize the sales, that’s the only thing na makaka ayos (that will fix it). With a computerized process, you will be able to monitor,” he said on the sidelines of the first quarter Cordillera Regional Development Council meeting here.

He said when they first met with the PCSO officials when he was vice-chairman of the committee, they saw a lot of loopholes.

“Once the permit or franchise is given by the PCSO, they do not supervise anymore. They only remit what they want to remit and what they present is the amount that the government gets without scrutiny if the remittance is the correct amount,” Bernos said.

Bernos was appointed as head of the Games and Amusement panel, taking over the position from ACT-CIS Rep. and Benguet caretaker Eric Go Yap after the latter’s appointment to the Committee on Appropriations.

He said the committee assigned to him is a big challenge, considering the sensitive issues that the committee is currently tackling, particularly the concerns on the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

He said he is not against the operation of the POGOs in the Philippine so long as the government is not deprived of the correct taxes.

"For me, cool ako dyan (I’m cool with it), we welcome those as long as they won't deprive the government of proper taxes,” Bernos said.

He said everything must be legal, with papers and covered by the legitimate documents.

“Provided na maayos lahat ang document, everything is aboveboard, wag lang yung under the table and pagpasok dito (Provided that all document is present and everything is aboveboard but I don’t like that they will illegally enter the country and be allowed to operate through illegal means), as long as they will pay the govt the proper taxes, I am cool to hosting POGO operations,” he said. (PNA)