BAGUIO CITY: Electronic-bingo (e-bingo) outlets are under fire in this city.
Gathering at least 20,000 signatures, the church-led anti-gambling group headed by Catholic Bishop Carlito Cenzon are asking the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), President Benigno Aquino 3RD and city officials to thwart the deluge of “gambling-sense” in Baguio City and even its neighboring towns.
But PAGCOR, whose officials appeared before the Baguio City Council on Monday, believes the signatures would not affect the city official’s “go-signal” for the operations of e-bingo outlets in three major malls in the city.
‘Unless the local officials revoke business permits’ said lawyer Arnie Salvosa of PAGCOR.
Earlier, Mayor Mauricio Domogan vowed not to renew the business permit granted to the e-bingo outlet at the Centerpoint Plaza along Marcos Highway being operated by a firm owned by a certain Raul Tabora.
But PAGCOR couldn’t move a finger on the two e-bingo outlets it sanctioned to the two large malls in the city, because even if Baguio City will not give favorable resolutions to its operations, the resolution requirement is no longer needed because these are only for renewals. They have been operating since 2011, PAGCOR said.
Baguio City Councilor Richard Carino, chairperson of the council’s Committee on Laws, asked the city to probe the operations of the two e-bingo outlets amid the controversy.
Another local legislator, Councilor Lilia Yaranon, is asking the city government to ditch all e-bingo outlets in the city, because she personally believes it is “destroying the moral fabric of Baguio residents.”
Earlier, the Baguio City Council approved Resolution 85, series of 2015, requesting the office of Mayor Domogan, through the permits and licensing division to immediately close all e-bingo outlets operating in the city without necessary business permits from the City government, authority to operate from PAGCOR and endorsement from the City Council.
Bishop Cenzon, a personal acquaintance of President Aquino, vowed he will bring the signatures against gambling and e-bingo outlets to Malacanang.