Senate panel wants to limit e-sabong operations to Sundays and holidays

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MANILA, Philippines — Along with the immediate filing of appropriate charges against those involved in the disappearance of dozens of cockfighting enthusiasts, a Senate panel has also sought regulation of the e-sabong (cockfighting) industry. online) by limiting its operations only to all Sundays and legal days. holidays.

These are just some of the early recommendations of the Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee that looked into missing cockfighting aficionados.

The panel led by Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa concluded its investigation Monday after conducting four public hearings.

“First of all, it is necessary to develop a law regulating the e-sabong industry which includes, among other things, limiting e-sabong operations to Sundays and public holidays,” Dela Rosa said while reading the initial panel recommendations.

The limited operations, according to him, are almost similar to what was provided for by Presidential Executive Order No. 499 or the Cockfighting Act of 1974.

“These regulations will also include a clear delineation of the powers and functions of government agencies involved in e-sabong, strict implementation of the imposition of taxes on e-sabong operators and its agents, and the installation of surveillance cameras. CCTV not only in betting stations, but also in areas where cockfighting takes place,” explained the head of the panel.

The panel also recommended that money transfer facilities strictly enforce the “know your customer” policy to ensure that minors cannot use their facilities for gambling.

To help law enforcement with their investigation, Dela Rosa said there is a need to institutionalize the reward system for someone who has witnessed and has actual knowledge of the commission of a crime.

The committee is also seeking to further increase the penalty for obstruction of justice under Presidential Executive Order 1829 “to deter individuals from concealing the commission of a crime”.

According to Dela Rosa, there is also a need to pass a law requiring all local government units to include the installation of CCTV cameras in commercial establishments, especially in all betting stations, gambling arenas and gambling venues. games, among others, as a precondition for issuance. of the settlement permit.

The panel further wants state-owned Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp. includes in its regulatory framework the commission of a crime and all offenses on its premises – if the operator is found to be negligent and has not cooperated with its investigation – as grounds for suspension. and/or cancellation of the license.

Another recommendation from the committee is that the Bureau of Internal Revenue immediately collect taxes owed by e-sabong operators and impose strict penalties on those who do not pay the correct taxes.

“And finally, recommend to the PNP-CIDG (Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) and the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) the immediate filing of the necessary criminal, civil and administrative charges against the persons of interest or the suspects,” Dela Rosa said.

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