COUNCIL RECALLS APPROVAL OF 2 ELECTRONIC BINGO OUTLETS

07 July 2021 – City officials recalled two earlier resolutions that approved the operation of additional electronic and traditional bingo outlets and other similar games regulated by the State-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) following the formal withdrawal of the company from its previous application to operate the said outlets.

Under Resolution No. 334, series of 2021, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, local legislators stated that the council received manifestations and position papers opposing the earlier approved resolutions interposing no objection to the operation of additional e-bingo outlets in the city from several groups opposed to gambling in general, thus, from the results of a public hearing conducted for the purpose, the overwhelming sentiment of the public is against gambling for all the reasons, particularly for developing, enhancing and nurturing the moral fiber of every resident in the city.

Earlier, the local legislative body approved Resolutions No. 208 and 209, series of 2021, approved the application of RCC Global Entertainment, Inc. for the operation of electronic and traditional bingo outlets at CEDAR Peak along Mabini Street corner Gen. Luna Street and Summer Pines Residences, respectively subject to conditions.

The council clarified that what the body acted upon was a one-page letter request of RCC Global Entertainment Inc for each of the sites that were requested.

In a marginal note of Mayor Magalong dated April 21, 2021, he returned both resolutions to the city council, stating that he will not be affixing his signature on the said resolutions as he finds that the industry or activity relative to the operations of the said establishments are of such nature that requires public consultations.

On May 17, 2021, the council voted to conduct a public hearing as suggested by the local chief executive.

On June 4, 2021, a public hearing was conducted at the Baguio Convention Center with the City Mayor, City Vice-mayor, and 10 of the 14 Councilors in attendance.

At the said public hearing, with 262 persons physically present, while approximately 6,900 were in zoom or Facebook, the citizens coming from the various sectors of society expressed their vigorous opposition to the aforesaid resolutions.

In the past, the local legislative body adopted a number of resolutions that reflected the sentiments of the body against gambling.

Among such resolutions include resolution No. 292, series of 1995, opposing the operation of the Philippine charity Sweepstakes on-line lotto in the city under any condition in the same manner that it vigorously opposes the operation of jueteng and casino in the city; Resolution No. 304, series of 1995, directing the Baguio City Police Command and the Philippine National Police–Cordillera Regional Command to put a stop to the operation of jueteng in the city within seventy two hours; Resolution No. 122, series of 2002, expressing the sentiment of the people and the policy of the local government against gambling and for other purposes; Resolution No. 281, series of 2008, resolving the proposal to conduct a test run or operate Small Town Lottery (STL) including those in the future during the incumbency of the present city council be denied and rejected and shall no longer be entertained respectively and that all law enforcement agencies and barangay officials are enjoined as all residents are urged to help to stop and eradicate all forms of illegal gambling in the city; Resolution No. 446, series of 2008, vigorously opposing the establishment of a casino or the conduct of gambling activities at Camp John Hay and anywhere in the city; Resolution No. 1222, series of 2009, vigorously opposing the implementation of the Memorandum of Agreement entered into by and between the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the Camp John Hay Development Corporation for the establishment and operation of a casino at Camp John hay; Resolution No. 220, series of 2012, urging all sectors to undertake an anti-gambling campaign in the city; Resolution No. 173, series of 201,3 requesting the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to cause the stoppage of all gambling activities and all Bingo sa Barangay and Resolution No. 188, series of 2013, asking the BCPO to immediately stop all kinds of illegal gambling activities in all parts of the city, including those in the guise of fund raising activities being conducted in some barangays and in the market and Rizal Park areas. – Dexter A. See