When people are clamoring for change in an old corrupt public bureaucracy, the government instead gives them a new casino in Subic. When the Filipinos are begging for less expensive food and clothing, PAGCOR rather provides them with more gambling opportunities.
The establishment of the Subic Diamond Casino is a pitiful response of the government to the worsening socio-economic condition of the country. It is a strange reaction of the national leadership to the emerging frustration of many Filipinos to its likewise many unwanted and unwelcome actuations.
Time and again PAGCOR proudly advertises its so called many “foreign and local players.” But it remains loudly silent about the fortunes lost. The gambling addiction propagated and the families destroyed, its “players” are made to suffer.
On the other hand, the same “players” altogether ignore the signal fact that PAGCOR claims to rake in multi-billion revenues every quarter. These regular enormous amounts of money come from nowhere except from its “players”—translation: Gamblers. It is a given that PAGCOR always wins and its gamblers lose always.
This official gambling agent of the government furthermore ignores the sad fact that the gamblers it pampers are the individuals who make the corporate world wary. It is always a liability for business companies to have gamblers as employees—as managers especially. In the same way, it is not a pride for professional organizations to have gamblers as members.
The present government does not only promote legal gambling through the corporate person of PAGCOR, it also tolerates illegal gambling such as jueteng, masiao and many others. Gambling thus appears to be the offering of the government to make people forget their misery and make them forever hope for instant fortune. But their misfortune instead is what comes about as a matter of course.
Thus it is that during these times, gambling seems to have become the opium of many people. Make them gamble and let them forget their problems which nevertheless remain. Make them gamblers and keep them hoping for a better future which usually stays illusive.
4 May 2005