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Monday, April 22, 2024

Pagcor mulls TRO vs. QC ordinance

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The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. is seriously contemplating a Temporary Restraining Order to bar the Quezon City government from implementing its proposed gaming regulatory ordinance.

Pagcor maintains that not taking this next important step is tantamount to the dereliction of its duties as gaming regulator.

By virtue of Presidential Decree 1869 and Republic Act 9487, Pagcor is the national government agency that has been mandated to regulate all games of chance in the country.

“We also would like to reiterate that with regard to regulation of gaming in local government units, PD Number 771 revokes the authority of LGUs to issue license permit or any form of franchise to operate, maintain and establish forms of gambling,” the state firm said in a statement Friday.

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In a Memorandum from the Office of the President dated April 17, 1996, then-Executive Secretary Ruben Torres directed all local government units and other concerned agencies that “only the national government has the power to issue licenses or permits for the operation of gambling since the power of the local government units to regulate gambling through the grant of franchise, license or permit was withdrawn by PD 771 as early as 1975.” 

Relative to abuses of local government in making ordinances beyond their authority, Department of Justice Opinion No. 087, s. 2012, stated 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…”

One of the remedies suggested by the DOJ opinion is the declaration of nullity of the ordinance and part of such proceeding is the issuance of a TRO while the case is pending in court, Pagcor said.

“Hence, given the provisions of the law, it is clear that Quezon City’s proposed gaming regulatory ordinance is a violation of national law,” it added.

“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,” Pagcor said.

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