Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who is in charge of a campaign to eradicate illegal gambling, is currently asking the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa to implement his Presidential Decree and bar all public servants to set foot in any casino. On Thursday last week, the country’s top official led the launch of the Overseas Filipino Bank, where he ordered Mr. Dela Rosa to arrest all government workers, who violate the Presidential Decree.
President Rodrigo Duterte urged the Philippine National Police to strictly implement his Presidential Decree and prohibit all government employees and public officials from entering a casino. He explained that the government employees should serve the people’s interests, but not waste money in the casinos.
Mr. Duterte took the opportunity to emphasize on the fact the there is a law addressing the matter and it has never been repealed or changed. In that sense, everybody needs to abide by the law and stay away from the casino floors. By enforcing the prohibition, industry insiders believe that the President is looking to demonstrate the government employee’s high moral standards and maintain a set of ethical principles.
Previous Attempts to Efficiently Implement the Restrictions
Former President Ferdinand Marcos had issued Presidential Decree, that bars government officials, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and persons under 21 years of age or students to play or stay in a casino. In 2016, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a Memorandum Circular that appeals all government officials and employees to comply with the law.
A separate memorandum issued by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (a Filipina politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 until 2010) aimed at reminding government employees of the prohibition. In 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the strict implementation of his Presidential Decree that bars government workers to enter or play in a casino. He argued that the government workers should serve as “role models” to people. Despite the prohibition, it was reported that government officials were noticed in the casinos back in the days.
Paradoxically, Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson made the headlines last year after she was spotted to perform at a bar on the ground floor of Resorts World Manila‘s casino. Needless to say, she violated Duterte’s Decree. In a statement, Resorts World Manila explained that the casino asks all of its performers to comply with the government regulations. It is yet to become clear if the new measures are scare off the government workers from the casinos and produce the desired effect.