A Catholic priest in the Diocese of Malolos has expressed concern over the proliferation of sugal lupa, illegal gambling usually seen inside a peryahan or a public fun center operating across Central Luzon where mostly children 8-15 years old are playing.
Fr. Nicanor Lalog 2nd, chairman of the Diocesan Commission on Social Communication of the Diocese of Malolos, said the government, particularly the Philippine National Police (PNP), needs to take immediate action to stop the relentless spread of illegal gambling.
The Manila Times learned that illegal gambling in fun or amusement centers, popularly known as peryahan in the regions or provinces, has been proliferating allegedly with knowledge of police, barangay (village) and local
He said early addiction of minors to gambling in these amusement centers that are found in Bulacan and Pampanga in Central Luzon, as well as in nearby Regions 1,2, 4 and the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) must be immediately stopped.
“The police must take appropriate and immediate action to end [the problem]and save the youth from its potential impact on their future,” Lalog added.
When asked for comment, police regional director and Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino told The Manila Times in a text message, “We will take appropriate action.”
Lalog noted that gambling establishments such as casinos and cockpit arenas ban minors, a policy that he said perya operators must also implement.
“In this situation, the authorities were not only to blame here, but especially the parents who should be the first to discipline their children,” he said.
Perya operators are allowed to install and given permit to operate by local government units during fiestas and other festive events.