By Wilnard Bacelonia

Senator Robinhood Padilla (PNA file photo)

MANILA – Senator Robinhood Padilla has proposed to prohibit the online publication of materials, commentaries, and advertisements that promote or demonstrate gambling.

In a statement on Thursday, Padilla said he filed Senate Bill No. 2602 to “lessen, if not all, eliminate, the exposure and impact of gambling to the general public, especially the youth.”

“Considering the evolving landscape of social media platforms, this representation has been apprised of the availability of online user-generated content relating to gambling that demonstrates, promotes and provides instructions on betting or staking to the general public,” he said.

“One concern that is associated with the disruption of social order is gambling, as it is oftentimes linked to addiction, criminal activities, and even social issues that destroy the moral fiber of our nation,” Padilla said.

Under SB 2602, the Department of Justice (DOJ) shall issue a disabling order to restrict or block access to online content promoting gambling, with notice to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to monitor compliance.

Service providers must comply with the disabling orders within 48 hours of the issuance of the order.

Those found publishing or promoting gambling materials online will be penalized with a jail term for up to one year; or a fine of up to PHP500,000.

If the offender linked the prohibited content to an online gambling site, or received commissions from publishing the content, he or she faces up to three years in jail and a PHP500,000 fine.

Padilla’s colleague, Senator Lito Lapid, recently filed Senate Resolution No. 963 seeking to look into the proliferation of online gambling.

“There is a need to investigate the regulation of gambling activities and the platforms which they are accessed to prevent the corruption of the youth towards the vice of gambling,” he said.

The lawmaker seeks to check online platforms, particularly Facebook, X, Tiktok, and payment hubs like Gcash, Maya, and other mobile banking apps, to ensure that they are not being misused for illegal online gambling activities. (PNA)