DAVAO City Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang is recommending that the city government allow the operation of online sabong or cockfighting.
"Magsugod nakog hearing aning online sabong kay ang mga Pilipino, dili gyud maundang kaning kultura, gusto gyud magsabong. Kabahin kang Mayor, online mani. Dili mani makatakod og [Covid-19] kay muduwa ra man ka ani sa computer bisag wala ka sa sabungan, makadula ka sa online (We will start a committee hearing on online cockfighting because some cannot seem to stop playing the game. Regarding the mayor’s opposition to sabong, that is not a problem because this will be all online. People won’t be infected with the coronavirus because they will do it online.," Dayanghirang said in a radio interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio on Thursday, April 8.
Dayanghirang, who is the committee chairperson of the games and amusement, defended the recommendation to allow the operations of online sabong as it will address the clamor of bettors to allow the resumption of sabong and at the same time provide additional revenue for the city.
Under Presidential Decree 449, also known as the Cockfighting Law of 1974, cockfighting is a legal and regulated activity in the Philippines.
"Cockfighting has been and still is a popular, traditional and customary form of recreation and entertainment among Filipinos during legal holidays, local fiestas, agricultural, commercial and industrial fairs, carnivals or expositions," the law states.
It added that "it (cockfighting) should neither be exploited as an object of commercialism or business enterprise, nor made a tool of uncontrolled gambling, but more as a vehicle for the preservation and perpetuation of native Filipino heritage and thereby enhance our national identity."
Dayanghirang also said online sabong is a safer route for cockfighting enthusiasts considering that it prevents them from gathering in one place. Therefore reducing possible Covid-19 transmission.
However, in a time when people are barely making ends meet, is it really necessary to resume an activity where they will throw away their cash? It is a different story for the haves and have-nots. Those with a steady stream of income have little to lose compared to those who are barely getting any income amid a pandemic.
But on the flip side of the coin, it is understandable why the local government unit is going as far as probably allowing the resumption of several games and amusements to find a source of funds for the city. In times like these, the government is spending more than it used to manage the spread of Covid-19 and keep its numbers low.
"Ngano ginahuna-huna nato ni, aron naa tay kwarta, makakolekta ta og buwis. Kung makakolekta ta'g buwis, makatabang tag palit og bugas, pampalit og medisina, pangpalit og vaccine. So gikinahanglan nato makakita og kwarta para magpadayon ang serbisyo sa gamhanan (We thought of this to generate additional revenue. If we could generate more money, we could help our indigent constituents by giving them a bag of rice, purchase additional medicine, and even additional vaccines. We need to find resources for continuous service to the public)," he said.
Hopefully, the local government unit and our city councilors will find a better source of funds rather than allowing online sabong.