DOJ claims COA has the ability to audit POGO earnings—find out why!
The Department of Justice has announced the Commission on Audit’s authority to audit earnings of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators. The government is taking this step to ensure accountability and transparency in the industry. POGOs are under scrutiny because of their alleged involvement with illegal activities, tax fraud, and noncompliance to labor laws. COA will be able to examine their financial records in detail and detect any irregularities or illegal activities.
The decision of allowing the COA to audit POGO earning is an important step to ensure that the industry operates according to law. It is important to monitor the financial activities of POGOs and make sure that they adhere to all tax and legal obligations. COA can assess revenue streams and identify inconsistencies by conducting audits. They will also be able take action against anyone found guilty of illegal practices. This is expected to improve the overall governance of the POGO market and encourage a transparent and accountable environment.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has stated that state auditors are able to audit the earnings of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators.
In a legal advice dated June 30th, the DOJ stated that there appeared to be a sound fiscal reason and legal basis for the Commission on Audit to audit the gross gambling receipts (GRRs) of POGOs. Meanwhile, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation is still in process of procuring services from a qualified third party audit platform.
However, the DOJ stressed that this was only for the “information and guidance” PAGCOR when it refused the agency’s legal opinion request.
“With regret, we respectfully decline your request for guidance and/ or confirmation of your legal position since COA has already adopted a definite position on the matter, which is, that COA can audit the GGR of POGOs,” I said.
Citing an opinion of the DOJ from 1988, Justice Department said that it would not issue any opinions or rulings and/or act on behalf of officials/agencies for which it does not have revisory power.
“It bears stressing that the COA is the watchdog of the financial operations of the government… Being an independent constitutional body, this Department does not possess any reviewing authority over the rulings or official actuations of said agency,” I said.
The legal opinion was written by Raul Vasquez, the Undersecretary of Justice and Justice Officer in Charge.
PAGCOR will be launching its March 2019 PAGCOR terminated its contract Global ComRCI is its former third-party auditing company, which was assigned to audit POGOs following an analysis of their contract for alleged illegal actions.
Global ComRCI received a contract for 10 years from the PAGCOR in 2017. The agency said the service provider had gone through the correct bidding process and that it met all legal requirements as per the Procurement Law.
Sherwin Gattalian, the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, has called for the Marcos administration to fully implement the law. ban POGOs. —KG, GMA Integrated News