Baguio bishops want end of e-bingo operations


BAGUIO CITY: An end to all e-bingo outlets operations here is being urged by the clergy headed by outgoing Baguio-Benguet Vicar Carlito Cenzon.

Cenzon with the members of the Baguio-Benguet Ecumenical Group (BBEG) has again appealed to Mayor Mauricio Domogan not to renew permits for e-bingo establishments to operate in 2017.

Instead, the group pushes for family-oriented tourism and honest and clean businesses in the city to protect school children, students and families.

It called for responsible public officials and city employees for 2017.

Cenzon said that if the 14-member Baguio City Council approves the permit or recommendation to Pagcor for e-Bingo operations in the city, it is “not supportive of improving the morals, health, comfort, comfort and peace in the our beloved city.”

A letter-petition by Cenzon and other clergy members was also signed by former city councilor Philian Weygan Allan, Pastors Jonathan Erardo, Abraham Luis, Reylita Calimlim, Rev. Sharon Langbis, Milandre Rusgal, Geraldine Fiag-oy and Becky Taylor.

Petitioners have objected to any form of gambling “as it will continue to corrupt and degrade our people and our city which has always consistently maintained a character of being an anti-gambling city.”

The letter was given on Monday to Domogan specifically asking to reject the application of an e-Bingo outlet at the Maharlika Livelihood Center. It also called on city officials not to renew permits issued to e-Bingo outlets at the Center Mall and along Marcos Hi-Way and not to recommend it to Pagcor.

“We consider our city as a religious and an educational center. It is in the protection of our present and future generations that we vehemently object to the operation of establishments that become temptations to values formation, moral and character building of our faithful members and our students,” the petition said.

According to the petitioners, gambling when available becomes a choice. A choice between being in the gambling dens rather in school, work, home or in fruitful endeavors. “It is a choice between betting or using money for food and basic necessities. It is a choice between gambling time as against fruitful time spent with family and friends. It is a choice between believing in chance of becoming an honest earner. We urgently appeal that we do not provide gambling as a choice for our people,” the petition added.

On December 12, according to the anti-gambling petitioners, the Baguio City Council presided by Vice Mayor Edison Bilog approved the application of an e-Bingo at Maharlika Livelihood Center, located right at the heart of the city. The motion for approval was proposed by Councilor Faustino Olowan while only Councilors Peter Fianza and Mylen Yaranon abstained, with the majority approving it.


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