Pimentel urges PAGCOR to offer counseling to casino gambling addicts.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on Sunday urged the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to offer counseling to casino gambling addicts.
"PAGCOR should make sure there's a counseling program available to casino gambling addicts and those whose lives have been destroyed by casino gambling," Pimentel said in a statement.
The Senate president made the call after the Philippine National Police announcing that the Resorts World Manila attacker was dismissed Department of Finance employee Jessie Carlos, a casino gambling addict.
Pimentel said PAGCOR and all casino franchise holders must implement the program.
He also abused casino franchise holders not to abuse players who are already facing addiction to gambling.
"Casinos should be reminded not to take advantage of addicted gamblers or players not having full control of their mental faculties while gambling (like drunk gambling). They should intervene and stop the player from throwing his money away without realizing it," he said.
National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde said in a press conference that Carlos, who had been estranged from his wife and children due to his gambling problem, was "heavily indebted" and had been banned by PAGCOR from playing in casinos.
Albayalde said Carlos is considered a high roller in casinos with a minimum bet of P40,000 per visit.
Carlos took his own life after torching gaming tables at the Resort World Manila casino, leaving 37 other people dead.
Meanwhile, Pimentel expressed dismay that the Resorts World attack had to happen before government agencies realize problems on its operations.
"Nakakalungkot that it takes a tragedy like this to make us realize the folly and unreliability of having very complicated arrangements like the one with [the Bureau of Fire Protection] and [the Philippine Economic Zone Authority]," Pimentel said.
He added government agencies, particularly the BFP, must simplify its steps so that its expertise on emergency response would not be undermined.
"Sayang expertise being developed within BFP if we pass fire-related matters to another entity and then they have to develop their own expertise on the matter, and if they fail to do so the built-in excuse is that they lack manpower, they lack budget, etc," Pimentel said.