BAGUIO CITY – The city council requested the State-owned Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to cancel or revoke the provisional permit it issued to an amusement operator for the operation of electronic games allegedly located in nearby Tuba town but which is actually located within the jurisdiction of the city.
In a resolution authored and approved by the majority of the city councillors, the local legislative body cited upon verification by the city assessor’s office, it was discovered that the electronic gaming station within the Secret Place falls under the jurisdiction of the city and upon further discussion, its location was seemingly within the city limits.
Further, the council argued that during the conduct of the city’s cadastral survey, it included the area as part of the city but in the conduct of the cadastral survey of Tuba, the same area was not included in the similar survey.
It was learned that during the council’s regular session last June 22, PAGCOR senior manager, remote gaming unit, Nelia M. Lorenzo, disclosed that a license to operate was issued to an establishment which she said is located at Tuba, Benguet, as per documents submitted by the operator.
As required by PAGCOR, a resolution of no objection by concerned Sanggunaing Bayan/Panlungsod of the local government concerned must be presented as one of the documentary requirements before a license to operate can be granted.
However, in the case of the electronic games at Secret Place, no resolution of no objection was approved by the city councilor for its operation considering that the area is within the territorial jurisdiction of the city government.
At the same time, the city council will initiate the conduct of consultations with the local officials of Tuba in order to thresh out the necessary issues and concerns in order not to repeat the same in the future.
It can be recalled that the operator of the electronic games secured the resolution of no objection from the Tuba municipal council and the business permit from the Tuba municipal government that is why the PAGCOR released its provisional franchise to operate.
The council asserted that the city government m7ust impose its authority to issue the appropriate permits to businesses operating in the area considering that it is part of the city’s economic area and that the municipal government of Tuba has no jurisdiction over the said area.
The barangay council of Sto. Tomas Propr also passed a resolution stating among others that the area where the electronic games exist is within the jurisdiction of the barangay that is why the city government must exert all efforts in order to correct whatever issues that are governing the controversial area.
The council stated the operation of the electronic games within the jurisdiction of the city is considered to be illegal considering that the operator never secured from the local government the required resolution of no objection pursuant to the provisions of the revised PAGCOR Charter that requires interested amusement operators to secure the consent of host local governments prior to the conduct of their operations in areas allowable under the zoning ordinances of host communities. By Dexter A. See