BAGUIO CITY – The City Council reiterated to the State-owned Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) its earlier request to revoke the license it issued to the operator of the electronic games along Marcos highway because of the alleged misplaced issuance of no objection and business permit by the municipal government of Tuba, Benguet.
Marvic Baas, senior manager of PAGCOR’s licensing department, requested the local legislative body to come out with its updated stand on the matter to guide the State gaming corporation to subsequently close the operation of the e-games outlet located along Marcos highway.
The local legislative body earlier passed Resolution No. 133, series of 2015 urgently requesting PAGCOR to revoke the license it issued to the operator of the electronic games and to close the operation of the e-games establishment along Marcos highway because the State gaming corporation was mislead in believing that the location of the establishment is within the jurisdiction of Tuba, Benguet, thus, the resolution of no objection and the business permit was secured by the operator in Tuba instead of Baguio City which has jurisdiction over the said area.
However, PAGCOR never acted on the said resolution that allowed the e-games outlet to continue its operation to date using a misplaced business permit issued by Tuba town.
Baas committed to the members of the local legislative body that PAGCOR will immediately take the appropriate actions to close the operation of the e-games establishment along Marcos highway once it will officially receive the transmitted opposition of the council.
Earlier, the barangay council of Sto. Tomas Proper passed a resolution insisting that the area where the e-games establishment is located is within the jurisdiction of the barangay and that business establishments within the said area get their business clearances from the barangay.
City Assessor Maria Almaya Adawe also added the area where the e-games establishment is located is within the jurisdiction of the city and that it is way outside the jurisdiction of Tuba, Benguet, thus, the municipal government is not authorized to issue business permits to businesses operating in the said place.
City officials, religious groups and various anti-gambling advocates in the city raised an uproar after the sudden emergence of the e-games operation along Marcos highway more than a year ago upon the enactment of a resolution from the Tuba municipal council interposing no objection to the operation of the e-games in the area and the subsequent issuance of the required business permit for such gambling operation.
The local legislative body stood firm on the fact that the area where the e-games establishment is located is within the jurisdiction of the city based on valid documents not only from the barangay but also from the concerned offices of the city government having jurisdiction over the mapping of the area among others.
Baas claimed once there will be a resolution or letter of objection from the local government that is hosting its various games, PAGCOR will be constrained to revoke the license of the amusement operators and subsequently close the operation of the said establishment. /By Dexter A. See#