Issue of October 8, 2017
Mt. Province

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SCOFAD discourages gambling on wakes
by Ofelia C. Empian

Senior citizens in Benguet passed a resolution discouraging the conduct of gambling during vigil and wakes in the province when they took over as senior citizens officials for-a-day (Scofad) in the sangguniang panlalawigan last week.

In a resolution authored by Senior Citizen Official for a Day board member Amos Beta-a, chair of the committee on senior citizens and veterans affairs, the proposed measure aims to preserve the cultural practice of respect for the dead and concern to the bereaved families through a “solemn vigil or wake.”

However, there other activities are added during the wake aside from the usual practice of food preparation, procurement of materials for the casket, which are mostly performed by members of the bereaved families.

“Current development are being added to the activities during wakes with the perceived aim of helping the bereaved families, among them is gambling to raise funds for burial expenses,” Beta-a said.

“To some extent, gambling financiers strike an agreement with some family members, offering donations such as caskets and pigs as may be requested on condition that they conduct gambling during the duration of the wake,” he added.

He said gambling has several perceived and actual effects to the community, including attracting innocent children and women “with their loads of bills” since it has no restrictions; the purpose of vigil turns out as secondary activity; and the activity is often boisterous and disturbs the solemnity of the vigil.

“It could be understood that the solemn practice of vigil in times of death in Benguet is breached such that this gambling during wakes must be discouraged,” Beta-a said.

Another resolution passed by the Scofad is a request to Benguet Gov. Crescencio Pacalso to strike an agreement with SM cinema for the latter to grant free entrance for the senior citizens of Benguet. At the moment, only senior citizen residents of Baguio City are given such privilege.

The Scofad also requested the provincial government to sponsor a day for senior citizens during the Adivay Festival.

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