BAGUIO CITY– Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered the immediate dismantling of different gambling equipment that were put in place by the operator of the carnival situated within a portion of the children’s playground in response to the numerous complaints raised by the public against the purported gambling activities in the said area.
The local chief executive argued whether or not the transactions are done through tokens or cash, the lag-lag barya or piso-piso game is still considered as gambling that is why the same is prohibited, thus, the need for the concerned offices of the local government to dismantle all the existing gambling equipment present in the carnival site.
“We have to strictly adhere to what has been agreed upon as the terms for the carnival operation. Gambling in any form is actually not allowed, especially that it is done in front of the children who are not supposed to be exposed to such kind of activity because it will definitely affect their perception of what is a carnival,” Domogan stressed.
Concerned citizens posted in the social media photographs and footages of the alleged gambling activities being done in the carnival site which was in clear violation of the terms and conditions of the authority granted to the operator of the carnival in the area.
Part of the documented illegal activities in the carnival site were children allegedly patronizing the lag-lag barya or piso piso game which runs counter to the provisions of the agreement that only amusement rides will be allowed in the place.
According to him, the cooperation of the public in monitoring the conduct of illegal activities in the different parts of the city is very important because they can see around them what is happening, thus, the need for people to be vigilant about what is happening in the different places around the city and for them to provide city officials with the needed feedback for them to make the appropriate actions right in time.
He claimed strict monitoring will be done by concerned authorities regarding the carnival operation in Burnham Park so that any resurgence of gambling activities could immediately be acted upon and prevent the children from being exposed to such illegal activities in the area.
The Manila-based amusement operator was granted by the city’s local legislative body 90 days to operate a carnival that will focus purely on wholesome and family-oriented rides to help provide added attractions for residents and visitors to frequent the city’s premier park.
Under the terms and conditions of the agreement, the operator is obliged to pay to the local government at least P500,000 for the lease of the area aside from posting a bond which will only be released after the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) shall have certified that there were no damages in the site.
Based on the proposal of the operator submitted to the local legislative body, the allowed activities in the carnival site will be wholesome and family-oriented rides, entertainment for the public, among other activities that provide entertainment to the people visiting the area.
Domogan warned the operator that the local government will be forced to cut short the operation of the carnival once the gambling activities will again resume which will be in gross violation of the agreement.
By Dexter A. See