December 30, 2022
MANILA – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered the continued suspension of online cockfighting or “e-sabong” operations nationwide, calling it an “urgent need.”
In his Executive Order No. 9 issued on Dec. 28, Marcos said the ban is in line with the state’s “paramount obligation to protect public health and morals and promote public safety and general welfare.”
“There is an urgent need to reiterate the continued suspension of all e-sabong operations nationwide, clarify the scope of existing regulations, and direct relevant agencies to pursue aggressive crackdown against illegal e-sabong operations, in accordance with the law,” he said.
Under EO No. 9, online, remote, or off-cockpit wagering or betting on live cockfighting matches are all suspended.
Live-streaming or broadcasting cockfights outside cockpits, cockfighting arenas, or other places where cockfights are held, regardless of the location of the betting platform, are halted under Marcos’ directive.
But the suspension does not cover traditional cockfight operations licensed or authorized under existing laws.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) was tasked to ensure EO No. 9 is being adhered upon, through coordination with local government units, other concerned government agencies, and private entities.
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) were told to assist Pagcor in imposing the directive by taking appropriate actions against violators under the law.
Regular reports from Pagcor, in coordination with the DILG and the PNP, must be submitted to the President through the Office of the Executive Secretary.
Last May, Marcos’ predecessor Rodrigo Duterte ordered an end to online cockfighting operations upon the recommendation of then-DILG chief Eduardo Año, who cited the social costs of e-sabong to the Filipino people.
But this was only a spoken order. Duterte’s term ended with no written directive to formally suspend online cockfighting in the country.