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House committee calls for congressional inquiry to curb financial losses caused by illegal gambling

March 5, 2024 Philippines Crime & LegaliGaming & Gambling

The House Committee on Public Order and Safety has decided to call a parliamentary hearing with all police regional directors, which is a significant milestone in the fight against illegal gaming.

This action is a reaction to ACT-CIS party-list MP Erwin Tulfo’s worries over the country’s widespread illegal gambling, which he claims is seriously hurting government revenue from state-run lotteries and casinos.

Tulfo highlighted the seriousness of the issue by pointing out that the Small Town Lottery (STL) is being used as a cover for jueteng, a well-liked illegal numbers game that has caused the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to suffer large financial losses.

The goal of the inquiry is to provide information on the pervasiveness of illegal gambling, which varies depending on the region—from mashiao in Visayas and Mindanao to jueteng and loteng in Luzon.

Dan Fernandez, a senator from Laguna who chairs the House Committee on Public Order and Safety, emphasized the significance of this inquiry in determining the extent of illegal gaming activities and holding police regional directors accountable. The endeavor raises more serious questions about how local government and law enforcement support these illegal activities.

Erwin Tulfo berated the local government and law enforcement for their complicity in illegal gambling operations, asserting that a major obstacle to solving the issue is a dearth of political will. The discussion emphasized the administrative power that local governors and mayors have over law enforcement personnel, suggesting that illegal gambling may be outlawed if these officials adopt a firm stance against it.

Congressman Celso Regencia, an Iligan native who backs Tulfo’s position, shared insights from his time as Iligan mayor, highlighting the need for political will to combat illegal gambling.

Awaiting the results of the congressional probe with bated breath are stakeholders from a variety of businesses. In addition to addressing illegal gambling, the decision to convene all police regional directors also considered the accountability and morality of law enforcement as well as the role of political leaders in defending the public interest. This inquiry might represent a turning point in the Philippines’ fight against illegal gaming, perhaps establishing the bar for future governance and law enforcement practices.

Original story by: BNN Breaking

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