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ONLINE ‘SABONG’ | City mulls alternative to recover revenues after cockfighting ban




THE CITY government is considering allowing online cockfighting to help recover lost revenues after banning gamefowl activities following a superspreader event in March last year.

In her Monday radio program over the city government-run Davao City Disaster Radio, Mayor Sara Z. Duterte confirmed that she endorsed the proposal to Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang so that it could be tackled in the City Council.

This developed as Duterte is also looking for a similar idea so that liquor can still be sold without the worry that this would increase the COVID-19 cases.

“This is one (of the issues) that we are looking at, like how we can cater to those wanting to buy liquor without exposing them to the danger of getting infected with the virus,” she added.

“We are looking at how we can balance this,” she added, emphasizing that the people can drink and businesses can go on without exposing people.

The city government has imposed a 24-liquor ban in public, including the buying of these products, because of stricter quarantine protocols. On Sunday, the national government announced the city is still under the General Community Quarantine until the end of the month.

Since the huge financial burden of the pandemic, Duterte said the city government “is looking for new sources of funds because there are other sources (of revenues) that we cannot rely on anymore, especially because businesses are finding difficulty and we have reduced local taxes and fees.”

She thought of the online cockfighting after noticing that people were willing to defy the ban as long as they could engage in the activity. As a result, they violate the physical distancing protocols.

With these activities made online, participants will be able to place their bets “in the confines of their cellphones, in the confines of their laptops.” The number of people permitted inside the cockpit arena will be limited to minimize the threat of the virus and ensure that minimum health standards are followed.

The first COVID-19 case in the city was traced to a derby at the New Davao Matina Galleria during the Araw ng Dabaw festivities a year ago. The event was attended by some cockfighting aficionados from all parts of the country. This prompted the mayor to ban cockfighting in the city.

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