Councilor wants gambling activities stopped in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY -– A city councilor has filed a resolution calling for the rescission of the approval of an earlier resolution interposing no objection to the operation of a traditional and e-bingo in a hotel and a mall here.

Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria Yaranon filed the resolution which the city council referred on Monday afternoon to the committee on health and sanitation chaired by Councilor Elaine Sembrano.

Earlier during the session, the council referred the resolution to the Committee on Laws which was turned down by the chairman. It was again referred to the Committee on Ethics which was also turned down by the chairman.

Eventually, the Committee of Sembrano accepted the resolution when referred to it for action.

Yaranon’s resolution said, “considering that Baguio City is a character city, the city should promote the well-being of a family, being the basic social institution. Individuals must be guided accordingly to spend their time productively or to spend their time with their family and not for vices.”

Yaranon also said “traditional bingo and electronic bingo are games which involve money for a game of chance. Gambling is a menace and can be addictive to some individuals.”

She also mentioned that “financial problems arise to an addicted gambler because of indebtedness to many loan sharks or financial institutions. Personal and real properties are lost because of gambling. This is one reason of bankruptcy and broken families”.

The resolution emanated from a reminder of the existence of objections from religious groups in December 2016 to the E-bingo or any form of gambling in the city.

This same objection was reiterated by the Parish Pastoral Council of Cathedral, which expressed opposition to the renewal of the E-bingo permits in two of the city’s major malls and in a barangay, considering Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (PAGCOR) gaming site regulatory manual.

The manual states that gaming sites must not be located less than 300 meters in distance from schools, places of worship, churches and public market.

The hotel seeking renewal of a permit to operate an e-bingo is near the St. Joseph church and Little Flower Retreat House, Dr. Jose Rizal Elementary School and public market while the one of the malls is located very near the Cathedral Church.

The other mall is located near St. Louis University, University of Baguio and Baguio Central University as well as the city market. LTA/