Council rescinds bingo endorsement, terminates MOA with ERS operator
The city council, through Resolution 334, s. 2021, has rescinded Resolutions 208 and 209 that approved the request of RCC Global Entertainment Inc. to operate traditional and electronic bingo at Cedar Peak building along Mabini Street and General Luna Road and at Summer Pines Residences along Marcos Highway, subject to conditions.
The action was made in deference to Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who returned the resolutions unsigned and said in a marginal note that the activity requires prior public consultation.
The resolution clarifies that the basis of the city council when it acted on the repealed measures was a letter request of RCC Global Entertainment, Inc. and there was no discussion on the merits of the proposal.
The resolution also cited the results of the public consultation held last June 4 at the Baguio Convention Center where there was an overwhelming public sentiment against all forms of gambling in Baguio.
It was also brought out during the public hearing that the areas where RCC Global plans to operate is not compliant with Section 2 of Pagcor gaming site regulations that states the area operation should not be less than 300 meters from schools, places of worship, cockpits, horse racing outlets, public markets, informal settlers and resettlement areas.
Cedar Peak is near University of Baguio while Summer Pines Residences and Roxas National High School are both less than the required 300 meters.
As to the impact on economy, the city’s shares of P246,654 and P228,417 for 2019 and 2020 are not substantial compared to the huge amount poured in by bettors. Since the business has only about 10 employees, it also does not substantially contribute to local employment, the council said.
Another reason is the economic crisis caused by the pandemic that people should rather use their money for basic and essential needs for themselves and family instead of gambling under the guise of entertainment.
The resolution further stated the four e-bingo outlets in the city are enough.
In Resolution 333, s. 2021, the council confirmed the termination of the memorandum of agreement between the city government of Baguio and Rapid Process Inorganic Technology Innovation Corporation (Rapport), operator of the environmental recycling system (ERS) machines at the Irisan controlled materials recovery facility.
The MOA was signed on Nov. 13, 2018 and confirmed by the city council on Jan. 21, 2019.
On May 3, Mayor Benjamin Magalong sent a notice of termination to Rapport for the company’s failure to address the foul odor emitted by the ERS system at the site which was being complained of by residents at the vicinity of the materials recovery facility.
On May 28, the chair and chief executive officer of Rapport informed the mayor that the company will vacate the site on July 1 and turnover the premises to the city of Baguio through the General Services Office, thus making the termination of the MOA a mutual agreement of both parties.
The termination will take effect on Aug. 31.