By Hilda Austria
CHRISTMAS is just a few days away. Aside from the usual decorations and lights, ‘dropballs’ are among the other attractions in “Perya” in barangays alongside fiesta celebrations.
While, opposition to illegal gambling activities such as the widely known ‘Jueteng’ and the ‘dropball’ remain, a new craze is in town. Ending’ is a new form of betting. It has the same mechanics except that the bet and the winnings are not as big as the two number games. And the determinant of the winning number is a PBA game.
Here’s how ‘ending’ is played: players will choose two numbers and the winning number will be determined by the last digits of the final scores of teams of scheduled PBA or NBA game.
My concern is for the children and youths who are being exposed to this betting game. It’s bad enough that they are already of the impression that gambling as an activity is a source of income, and now they learn that the sport they play for fun can actually be a source for gambling.
Although they may have the purest intention to help provide for the financial needs of their families, innocently doing something they believe is beneficial, their continued exposure to ‘ending’ must be checked and stopped now. Failing this, the children would grow up to be next generation of
Jueteng ‘Kabos’, instead of finishing their studies to earn a degree and land a decent job.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas told me in an interview that 2015 will be the “Year of the Poor.” And, poor would not only refer to the economic status but also of the morality, health and spiritual status of the individual.
May this be a call or reminder to all government officials including barangay officials, to show mercy and compassion to their poor constituents by providing decent livelihood programs, not only to lift their poor economic status but morality and spirituality.
By the way, the theme of Pope Francis’ visit is ‘mercy and compassion’.
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