THE Quezon City Sangguniang Panlungsod has approved and passed a resolution that allows a single electronic-games firm to operate in the city.
City Resolution 7326-2017, authored by District Four Councilor Ivy Xenia Lagman, was passed on November 27, 2017, but was disclosed to the media by the city government’s Public Affairs and Information Services Office (PAISO) last week through a news statement.
Lagman’s resolution was about a special permit that legally allows Total Gamezone Xtreme Inc. to operate an electronic–games venture, Paiso said.
Total Gamezone Xtreme Inc. is in SF-206 Citigold Plaza at 175 Katipunan Avenue, corner Boni Serrano Avenue, near Camp Emilio Aguinaldo.
In defending Total Gamezone Xtreme, Paiso said Lagman pointed out in her resolution that the “Total Gamezone Xtreme Inc. [is] a domestic corporation duly organized and existing under and by virtue of Philippine laws, to operate electronic games.”
Lagman said, “[T]o be able to operate the aforementioned electronic games [referring to the Total Gamezone Xtreme Inc.], there is a need to secure a special permit from the Quezon City Council pursuant to Ordinance 2285-2014 in relation to the provisions of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.”
Lagman strongly argued that the “[e]lectronic-games establishments will provide employment to people, will create additional revenues to the city government and will boost Quezon City’s economy for the welfare of its inhabitants.”
Records at the Commission on Audit (COA) showed that the Quezon City government has the highest revenue in the whole country, with almost P16.5 billion in income.
Makati City’s revenue was more than P15.5 billion, the COA disclosed.
There is a P1-billion difference. This means the Quezon City government has a substantial income under the leadership of Mayor Herbert M. Bautista since June 2010 without the help of games of chance or gambling.
The local law she cited was City Ordinance 2885–Series of 2014 authored by then-Councilor Jesus C. Suntay, now a director at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
In the said ordinance, Suntay cited Bautista’s reminder contained a memorandum in 2010.
The ordinance was about how games of chance like electronic games and cockfighting should be treated in terms of their supposed benefits in the city’s revenue and economy.
Bautista stressed in a memorandum, dated August 3, 2010: “Please be reminded that engaging in gaming or amusement measures, such as e-games, betting outlets (jai alai, Small Town Lottery, off-track betting stations), bingos, casinos and similar games of chance shall be the least and last recourse of the city for revenue generation.”
Suntay also emphasized that “[t]he Quezon City government generally considers gambling as unfavourable to the interest of the people.”
A close look at City Resolution 7326-2017 showed that Lagman failed to give the details on how many employees Total Gamezone Xtreme Inc. could hire so that it could create employment opportunities for the city’s residents
Lagman, wife of former Quezon City Councilor and former Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman Jr., also failed to present the possible revenue that it could pay to the city government so that it could have substantial contribution ot the city government’s annual revenue.