Pagcor ignores council Rono requirement

AN official of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said there is no need for them to seek a Resolution of No Objection (Rono) from the City Council as they have not transferred but rather expanded and consolidated their operations in Bacolod City.

Last week, Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. and president and chief operations officer Jorge Sarmiento led the inauguration of the Casino Filipino Bacolod at L’ Fisher Hotel.

Pagcor’s previous casino gaming site was located at Goldenfield Commercial Complex.

Andres Lizares, general manager of Casino Filipino Bacolod, said during the hearing Tuesday conducted by the committee on laws, ordinances and good government chaired by Councilor Caesar Distrito, that the Rono is required only for new gaming operations.

These include, he said, those created after the enactment of R.A. 9487 which required them to obtain consent from the local government unit that has territorial jurisdiction over the site for Pagcor operations.

Lizares was with their legal counsel Lenon Jay Curgos and marketing officer Raymund Gatuslao.

Pagcor has been operating for more than 27 years in the city and is giving the city government P1.2-million assistance every month.

Barangay 4 village chief Freddie Vargas said their barangay is glad for the presence of Pagcor at L’ Fisher Hotel in 15th-Lacson Streets.

Councilor Archie Baribar, author of the Rono Ordinance or City Ordinance 599, series of 2012, said the ordinance is similar to that of the City of Manila, wherein Section 4 requires all gaming establishments to secure a Rono within 90 days from approval of the same.

"We are not making things hard for Pagcor, but we just want to make sure that there are things that need the participation of the Sanggunian and one of it is a deliberation with regard to the social consequences that this matter will create. After all, Pagcor has been a reliant partner of the City Government of Bacolod,” he said.
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