A party-list lawmaker on Sunday highlighted the benefits of e-sabong to dispel the common notion that online cockfighting is evil.
Ako Bisaya party-list Rep. Sonny Lagon said what is needed is to regulate e-sabong allowing the government to earn while keeping the livelihood of thousands of individuals.
“I remain in favor of online cockfighting for the simple reason that it helps a lot of people. When properly regulated, it is not the work of the devil; rather it is a usual source of livelihood for poor Filipinos,” said Lagon in a statement.
Lagon also noted that Pitmasters Foundation under the United Association of Cockpit Owners and Operators of the Philippines have been helping out peoples affected by typhoon Odette.
“Last month, the Pitmasters Foundation distributed 100,000 food packs and hygiene kits to families in Visayas, Mindanao and Palawan that were affected by typhoon ‘Odette’. In the end, these are individuals who know their civic responsibility and have genuine care for their countrymen,” Lagon said.
He said Pitmasters is also giving ambulances and medical assistance like free dialysis, wheelchairs, etc. to indigent individuals.
Lagon also said that the majority of the members of the House of Representatives are in favor of regulating e-sabong.
“A lot of people connected to these industries have soldiered on despite receiving next to no amelioration. It’s time for us to lend a hand. Through this kind of legislation, we can do that with a clean conscience,” Lagon added.
He also called on those opposing the measure “not demonize the regulation of e-sabong; instead, let’s give our fellow Filipinos in the cockfighting industry the chance to get back on their feet.”
Lagon said that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the cockfighting industry closing over 3,000 cockfighting arenas nationwide. He said there are around 60,000 commercial breeders, 30,000 backyard breeders, and an estimated 14,000 poultry supply stores nationwide.