SIN TAX. Senatorial aspirant Raffy Tulfo (center) proposes Monday evening (April 4, 2022) that the government impose a sin tax on the operations of online cockfighting or e-sabong, instead of suspending its operation. Tulfo and his campaign party arrived in Zamboanga City Monday afternoon (April 3) to meet with local supporters. (Photo courtesy of Remus Lim Ong)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Senatorial aspirant Raffy Tulfo is not in favor of suspending the operations of online cockfighting (e-sabong), saying it can be a source of huge revenues for the government.

In a press conference Monday evening here, Tulfo suggested that the government should impose a sin tax on the operators of e-sabong similar to that on tobacco and alcoholic drink products.

Tulfo said the sin tax should be incorporated in every bet placed by bettors to ensure the operators will pay the right amount of tax.

“Every time bettors place a bet, the government earns revenue,” Tulfo said, noting that the operators of e-sabong are believed to be raking in hundreds of billions of pesos monthly.

He said the imposition of a sin tax on e-sabong will also help regulate the allowable age of bettors.

“Once you impose a sin tax on e-sabong, the betting price will increase, and not just anyone can easily place a bet, especially minors,” Tulfo said.

Last month, 23 senators signed Resolution No. 996 urging the Philippine Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to suspend the license to operate of e-sabong operators and immediately stop all related activities.

The resolution was passed as the Senate’s Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs is investigating the disappearance of at least 31 e-sabong aficionados.

Tulfo, an independent aspirant for a Senate seat, arrived here together with his campaign group and met with local supporters.

Tulfo reminisced his childhood days as an elementary student of Pilar College and Zamboanga Central Elementary School at the time his father, then Col. Ramon Tulfo Sr. was the Philippine Constabulary commander here.

Tulfo paid a courtesy visit Tuesday to Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar at City Hall. He also visited the public market. (PNA)