Pagcor planning to contest QC gambling ordinance
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) is seriously contemplating securing a temporary restraining order (TRO) to block the implementation of the proposed gaming regulatory ordinance of the Quezon City local government.
In a statement on Thursday, Pagcor maintained that “not taking this next important step is tantamount to the dereliction of its duties as gaming regulator.”
This comes after the city’s vice mayor, Joy Belmonte, said that they will be passing a gambling regulatory ordinance amid the planned establishment of a casino in the city.
Pagcor, however, said that it is the national government agency “that has been mandated to regulate all games of chance in the country” as provided under presidential decree (PD) 1869 and Republic Act (RA) 9487.
With this, Pagcor also noted how PD 771 revokes the authority of LGUs (local government units) to issue license permit or any form of franchise to operate, maintain and establish forms of gambling.
The agency further argued that it was said in a memorandum issued from the President’s office in 1996 that only the national government has the power to issue licenses or permits for the operation of gambling.
Pagcor said the LGUs’ power to regulate gambling through the grant of franchise, license or permit had been withdrawn by PD 771 as early as 1975.
Pagcor also cited Department of Justice Opinion (DOJ) No. 087, s. 2012, which said that the Department of the Interior and Local Government “has been swamped with problems arising from the implementation of ordinances which contain provisions that clearly violate existing national laws…”
“Hence, given the provisions of the law, it is clear that Quezon City’s proposed gaming regulatory ordinance is a violation of national law,” Pagcor said.
“With the filing of TRO, we are not only upholding the rule of law but also ensuring that people’s welfare are protected and LGUs will not be given a chance to abuse their authority,” it added. / gsg
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