BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Bacolod Councilor Al Victor Espino yesterday clarified that the Sangguniang Panlungsod only endorsed the request for cockfighting activities in the city to the National Inter-Agency Task Force on Covid-19 and did not act on it.
Espino made the clarification after netizens bashed the Bacolod SP for passing a resolution endorsing the letter request of New Negros Coliseum cockpit manager Rex Noble to the NIATF to allow cockfighting in the facility.
He said that although the approval for such request is a devolved function to the local government unit through the SP, they decided to endorse it to the NIATF because of social gathering concerns.
He said they endorsed such activity since cockfighting, as an industry, has contributed about P700 million a year to the local economy.
“Anybody will tell you that fighting cocks from Bacolod and Negros Occidental are not just the best in the country but notably in the world. So we are known for our fighting cocks. We call them our Negros feathered warriors,” Espino said.
He added that the pandemic has affected so many sources of livelihood, including those in the cock breeding and cockfighting industry, and they only wanted to help them.
Espino said the NIATF does not prohibit the holding of cockfighting activities as long as there is no mass gathering. Noble also asked permission from the SP for video streaming inside the cockpit for their offline betting station but the SP did not endorse this to the NIATF, he said.*