Casino complex in Baguio opposed

City councilors unanimously disapprove plan

Baguio City – A plan to establish a gaming complex in the Camp John Hay (CJH) special economic zone here has revived a multi-sectoral opposition to all forms of gambling in the city.

This developed as the city council here voted to disapprove the plan to set up a casino in CJH.

In disapproving the plan, the councilors said their action is consistent with the city’s anti-gambling policy that has been enforced for many years now.

The city council’s resolution, which was unanimously passed by city’s legislators, stated it is imperative for the city government take an aggressive action on any plan to set up a casino or undertake any gambling activity in any guise in the city, including CJH.

The measure is simply a reiteration of several resolutions approved by the council in the past.

The resolution stated that the presence of any form of gambling activity runs counter to the moral values which the city has impressed upon the people.

The operation of gambling in the city is also against the declaration of Baguio City as a „Character City.“

When the city was declared as a Character City, it was stressed that families in the city are strong and morally upright.

The council said that any plan to set up an activity that weakens the moral fiber of the people and offer wrong choices to the residents would create social problems.

Ironically, the stand of city officials is contrary to what has been happening in the past several months as lotto outlets continue to sprout in different parts of the city. The lotto operation is regulated by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

The city officials are also helpless in their efforts to stop the operation of illegal numbers game called „jueteng“ and illegal card games.

Earlier, the Metro Baguio group, an organization of religious associations in the city, issued a strong statement denouncing a plan to establish a bingo pavilion in CJH, pledging that it will exert all efforts to stop the plan.

The religious groups warned that they will conduct a series of rallies in different parts of the city to solicit the support of the people for the drive to stop the plan of concerned government agencies for the establishment of a gaming complex in the CJH special economic zone.

It was noted that several high rollers in Baguio and Benguet travel to San Fernando City, La Union to play the casino.

The proponents said that if a bingo pavilion or casino is set up in CJH, it would be the city which would benefit from the high rollers. The funds generated could be used to fund important projects for the people, they said.