19 May 2021 – The City Council decided to conduct a public consultation on the proposed additional electronic bingo outlets in some areas in the city on Friday, June 4, 2021 either at the Baguio Convention Center or at the city hall multipurpose hall to ascertain the sentiment of the people on the said matter.

The public consultation will be done virtually to ensure that the city’s legislative body will reach a significant portion of the city’s residents for them to actively share their insights on the controversial issue.

Presented during last Monday’s regular session of the council were 3 options on how to deal with the notation of Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong on the 2 approved resolutions approving the application of a gaming and amusement corporation for the opening of 2 additional electronic bingo outlets in the city, particularly in Cedar Peak along Mabini St., and Summer Residences along Marcos highway, where he stated that he will not sign the said resolutions as the same requires the conduct of public consultations.

Among the options that were considered by the body were to override the aforesaid veto, to conduct the required public consultation before acting on the matter, or to archive it.

However, with a vote of 11 councilors in favor of the conduct of the public consultation, 1 against and 2 abstentions, the council agree to eventually schedule the conduct of the proposed public consultation with strict adherence to the prevailing basic health and safety protocols, thus, it will be done virtually to prevent the influx of people to the venue.

Earlier, the council passed 2 separate resolutions that approved the request of a gaming and amusement corporation for the operation of 2 additional electronic and traditional bingo outlets in the mentioned sites that caused an uproar among concerned sectors and some members of the local legislative body who also raised procedural issues on how the same were approved in a single session.

During the approval of the 2 controversial electronic bingo resolutions, 9 councilors voted in favor of the approval of the operation of the additional electronic bingo outlets while 5 councilors voted against the said proposals.

The city’s chief executive eventually returned the 2 resolutions unsigned with the information that the proposals warrant the conduct of the required public consultations to solicit the opinion of the residents on the matter.

In its application filed before the city council, the proponent claimed that it intends to operate electronic and traditional bingo and other games authorized by the State-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) in the sites that had been previously identified for the said purpose.

The council also required the proponent to submit to the body all pertinent documents issued by the regulating agencies to support its application to operate the additional electronic bingo outlets to address the issues that were raised by some members and concerned sectors on the company’s alleged lack of supporting documents to justify its operation of the gambling joints that will subsequently establish in the city once the issues concerning the resolutions had been addressed during the public hearing. – Dexter A. See