A separation of local versus national powers is heating up in the Philippines. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has now made it clear that they will file a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Quezon City to prevent a local ordinance restricting gambling from pushing through, in a press statement provided to CalvinAyre.com.
Recently, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte pushed a new ordinance for her city that would force residents to pay a fee to enter any local casinos. This was done in preparation of the proposed Bloomberry casino, which will be built in the Vertis North project of Quezon City.
Now making their intent to file a TRO crystal clear, PAGCOR says they would be failing at their job to let the ordinance come into effect. They wrote, “PAGCOR maintains that not taking this next important step is tantamount to the dereliction of its duties as gaming regulator.”
They cite plenty of precedent for their authority, and Quezon City’s lack thereof. Presidential Decree 1869 and Republic Act 9487 established PAGCOR as the only regulatory body for gambling. Presidential Decree 771 specifically revoked that authority from local government units (LGUs), a local term for municipal government. Then a memo from the office of the President in 1996 made it clear that only the national government has the power to regulate gambling.