Decision railroaded: Allbergo e-bingo approved

ANOTHER e-bingo outlet has been approved by the local council despite a public outcry to stop gambling in the city.

In a decision described to be railroaded, the City Council on Monday, May 22, approved without objection the request of the Bingo Palace Corporation to maintain and operate a new outlet in Allbergo Hotel where electronic and traditional games will ensue.

The request of Highland Gaming Corporation to operate traditional bingo games at the upper basement of SM City Baguio as well as the Baguio Center Mall was also approved.

Up in arms in objection, Councilor Maylen Yaranon in a resolution, moved to rescind all requests for the game of chance.

"The request of e-bingo proponents was submitted on a Friday and was taken up in other matters on a Monday. Other matters are only allowed if it is urgent and important.

The voting coincided with the burial of former Mayor Braulio Yaranon, a staunch anti-gambling and corruption advocate which kept Maylen on leave.

"For those who approved, they must have really thought it was urgent. SM, Centermall, even a new one at Albergo was approved, really sad for Baguio," Yaranon said.

Councilor Peter Fianza objected while Councilor Robert Ortega was on official leave, keeping themselves out of the unanimous decision to allow gaming to ensue in the city.

Yaranon, in her resolution, is poised to halt gambling operations saying traditional bingo and electronic bingo are games which involve money for a game of chance and gambling is a menace and can be addictive to some individuals.

“Financial problems arise to an addicted gambler because of indebtedness to many loan sharks of financial institutions. Personal and real properties are lost because of gambling. This is one reason of bankruptcy and broken families," she added.

The move of Yaranon will be taken up on June 19's regular session.

The daughter of the late former mayor, who shunned all forms of gambling is urging all groups and individuals who are for the halt of gambling to join her in an uphill battle in the council.

"We filed a resolution rescinding their 'no objection to e-bingo, I am encouraging those opposing to attend," added Yaranon.

Yaranon said the areas where the site of the e-bingo games are near churches, schools and market places such as St. Joseph Church and Little Flower Retreat House, a church and a place for worship; Dr. Jose P. Rizal Elementary School, a public school, Pacdal Satellite Market, which form part of the Baguio City Public Market are located within 300 meters from Albergo Hotel.

The Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral, a church, is located within 300 meters from SM Baguio.

The Baguio Public Market and the Saint Louis University and University of Baguio, schools, are located within 300 meters from Baguio Center Mall." (with a report from Gretchen Abarcar/UC Intern)


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