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  • » 08/29/2009, 00.00


    Bishop against casinos: no help to economy, harms society

    Santosh Digal

    Bishop Lucilius Quiambao protests against the project for a giant shopping mall in Albay, south of Manila, which includes a casino. It will cost over 250 million euros and aims to attract tourists to the area. For the bishop it will "destroy the moral fiber of our community."
    Legazpi City (AsiaNews) - Mgr Lucilius Quiambao, Bishop of Legazpi, has taken a lead in protesting against the construction of a big shopping complex in Albay, south of Manila. The bishop was compelled to lodge an official protest at the news that a casino is part of construction plans and that the total cost of the complex will amount to 1.8 billion Pesos, equivalent to more than 250 million Euros.
    Bishop Quiambao addressed to the mayor of Legazpi, Noel Rosal, and the various parties that govern the city. "Gambling - says the bishop - is not the solution to our economic problems. We are in favor of progress, but we must obtain it with concrete actions and not by destroying the moral fiber of our community. "  
    The complex is the brain child of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), (a state-owned company that operates the casino in the country), who wants to develop in the area of Albay structures capable of attracting more tourism. The PAGCOR says the new shopping complex will offer new jobs to the inhabitants of the province and has already secured the support of  the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Albay and the city of Legazpi.
    In the Philippines, legal gambling is a growing market and an important source of revenue for the state. In 2008 the revenue generated by online gambling alone amounted to 6.11 million dollars against 4.74 million the previous year.  
    The bishop believes that the possible benefits for the local the economy can not be compared to the damage, particularly gambling, it may provoke to the social fabric. Msgr. Quiambao is mainly concerned about the impact that gambling can have on ordinary people. The lure of easy money combined with Bahala na, fatalism characteristic of Filipino culture, may end up pushing many people to squander money and time.  
    The Philippine Church and some national politicians have repeatedly criticized the huge investments insured by the government for the construction of casinos and increasing gambling online. They want to devote at least some of those funds for the development of industries which, while less profitable in the short term, however, provide stable jobs and guaranteed wages for the people of lower social groups.
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    See also

    19/05/2005 PHILIPPINES
    Death threats against Filipino Bishop fighting gambling
    Mgr Cruz, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, speaks about his fight against corruption and the gambling rackets. "Follow the example of Jesus so as not to fear the truth".

    28/08/2006 PHILIPPINES
    Filipino bishop accepts to join panel on political murders

    The Butuan City Bishop, Mgr Juan de Dios Pueblos, has accepted a government proposal to sit on the newly set up commission of inquiry into "extra-judicial" murders despite warnings from the bishop's conference that has asked its members to take an independent stand in politics.

    27/10/2012 LAOS-CHINA
    Gambling, the million dollar bet for Vientiane and Chinese companies
    The Laotian government encourages Beijing companies’ investment, resulting in "wild development". Frequented mostly by foreigners, casinos offer million dollar returns and fuel tourism. Crime alarm related to money laundering, drug trafficking and prostitution.

    03/02/2007 PHILIPPINES
    Mgr Camina, “champion of the poor”, dies
    The Bishop Emeritus of Digos died of liver cancer. He was known for his criticism of the economic policies of several governments and was held to be one of the fathers of the struggle against social inequality in the country.

    23/09/2004 PHILIPPINES
    With its debt sky high the government gets into gambling, Archbishop Cruz says

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