MANILA – A bishop in the northern Philippine city of Baguio has rejected President Benigno Aquino III’s offer of using gambling money for economic development.

“I told President Aquino we oppose casino and all forms of gambling,” said Bishop Carlito Cenzon of Baguio in an interview with Church-run Radio Veritas 846.

Bishop Cenzon said the president (right) asked him if he was willing to accept money from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) for his diocese.

“I had to say ‘no’. I said I’m not alone in this; the whole community, the mayor and local government officials are against gambling,” the bishop said.

He said Aquino was really interested in helping draw in investment for the mountain city of Baguio. One of the sources he wanted to tap for funds is PAGCOR, a government-owned and government-controlled corporation created to regulate gambling and fund the government’s socio-economic projects.

“He loves Baguio, I felt it; he really wanted to help. But he will have to consult first with our mayor and congressman,” Bishop Cenzon said.

He said the city needs to develop immediately because its population is increasing and landslides have been happening especially during the rainy season.

He said it was good the government recognises the role of the Church in community development. The churches in the city are always full of people, he added.

“We are always consulted on issues… and how the city must be run,” he said. – UCANEWS.COM