BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution requesting officials of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to appear before its regular session on March 6, 2017 to educate and inform the new members of the local legislative body and other concerned stakeholders on the increasing presence of electronic bingo and electronic games in the different parts of the city.
The local legislative body decided to again invite PAGCOR officials to clarify issues and concerns raised by the members and officers of the Baguio-Benguet Ecumenical Group regarding the operation of the electronic bingo outlets at the Baguio Center Mall, SM City Baguio, Puregold along Marcos highway and the newly approved electronic bingo outlet at the Maharlika Livelihood Center operated by RCC Global Entertainment.
Further, the council also questioned PAGCOR for allowing the operation of electronic games in an area along Marcos highway based on a concent from the Tuba municipal council when it was clear that the area is within the city’s jurisdiction based on a certification from the City assessor’s office and the claim of barangay officials of Sto. Tomas Proper.
Earlier, some members of the local legislative body filed several resolutions rescinding prior approved resolutions endorsing the operations of electronic bingo outlets in the city but the said proposals were denied by the local legislative body.
While PAGCOR officials appeared before the members of the previous council and clarified matters relative to the issuance of electronic bingo outlets, the council decided to again invite PAGCOR officials as there are five new members of the council for them to be appraised on the guidelines for the grant of permits to electronic bingo operators in the city.
It will be recalled that late last year, the local legislative body endorsed the request of RCC Global Entertainment in support of its application for the issuance of the permit required to operate an electronic bingo outlet within the Maharlika Livelihood Center.
However, based on PAGCOR rules and regulations, electronic bingo outlets are prohibited from operating in areas that are 300 meters within the radius of markets, schools, churches and other public places and 500 meters away from exiting electronic bingo outlets.
Religious groups in the city expressed concern over the increasing number of electronic bingo outlets being endorsed by the local legislative body, citing the need for the local officials to rethink their position relative to the comprehensive impact of these gambling activities on the morals and values of the residents and visitors.
The local legislative body will come out with its position on electronic bingo once it will be appraised on the rules and regulations that resulted in the grant of permits to electronic bingo and electronic game outlets in various parts of the city.
By Dexter A. See