A senior Catholic Church official said the government should abandon its plan of setting up more casinos and other gambling pits to attract more foreigners and investors to the country.
“I don’t know if they really thought about that proposal. People will not benefit [in any way] from that kind of plan,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said in a report published in the CBCP News. CBCP is the influential Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila broached early this week putting up more casinos and other havens for gamblers to perk up tourism and investment.
Cruz, a known critic of the Arroyo government, said Favila was barking up the wrong tree.
“If investments here in our country are not that good, it is not because of the lack of gambling, but [because of] our distrusted government,” added the bishop, a high-profile critic of jueteng and other outlawed numbers games.
Other churches and officials of the Catholic bishops’ group also earlier were reported to have strongly opposed the Favila formula.
Cruz said gambling promotes “addiction,” destroys families and is “profoundly costly.”
According to him, the Catholic bishops already issued a strong statement that condemns the patronage of gambling centers in the country, whether legal or illegal.