Advocates urged to participate in e-bingo public hearing

BAGUIO City Councilor urged advocates to participate in the public hearing Wednesday, July 26, on issues surrounding the approval of e-bingo in Baguio City, to air their grievances over anti-gambling sentiments in the city.

Elaine Sembrano, who is spearheading the public hearing on Wednesday, July 26, said over 300 persons have been invited for the morning session to gather their reaction over the gambling issue.

The lady lawmaker urged both pro and anti gambling groups to respect each other’s opinion.

“We have to respect each other’s opinion that is the bottom-line,” she adds.

Father Manuel Flores and his group mostly coming from the religious sector will be in attendance.

“Majority of which go against the establishments since we know this will have a moral implication since it will affect lives of people. True that gambling has its joys but if you assess its joys vs. its woes, the woes outweigh the joys,” Flores said.

Councilor Maylen Yaranon, who has moved to rescind recent decisions by the local council to allow the government backed gaming into the city said there will also be pro-gambling advocates who will attend the hearing.

The public hearing stemmed from the approval of the Baguio City Council without objection on May 22, giving the green light to Bingo Palace Corporation to maintain and operate a new outlet in Albergo Hotel where electronic and traditional games will ensue as well as the request of Highland Gaming Corporation to operate traditional bingo games at the upper basement of SM City Baguio and Baguio Center Mall.

“More than our hope of letting these kinds of establishments to cease is for the citizens of Baguio to really be heard. Our LGU ought to do real consultation before doing any approval of resolutions or passing of laws.

It is ironic that they have approved of something then they only consult when they realize that it is problematic,” Flores said.

“May they be sensitive also to the history and what Baguio is as a city-community. We were meant to be a place where people could relax... a summer relaxation place,” Flores continued.

Flores added companies do not take into consideration the moral and individual dangers of having gambling in the city.

“What is sad is that the pro usually over emphasize its joys as if everything is okay with having gambling establishments and if the person becomes a problematic gambler that is not anymore their concern. These are not addressed,” Flores continued.

Sembrano said despite the seeming resolute decision of the majority of the city councilors, the public hearing will push through in a bid to put into perspective of the growing opposition against all forms of gambling.


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