House approves creation of Horseracing Authority

THE House of Representatives has approved on second reading a measure creating an agency that will promote the growth, expansion and development of the thoroughbred horseracing industry to be known as the Philippine Thoroughbred Horseracing Authority.

House Bill 6329, authored by Reps. Amado Bagatsing (5th District, Manila), Ma. Amelita Calimbas-Villarosa (Lone District, Occidental Mindoro), Eduardo Gullas (1st District, Cebu) and Jeci Lapus (3rd District, Tarlac), seeks to give impetus to the development of the country’s economy by providing opportunities for revenue and employment generation through the horseracing industry.

The bill’s plenary approval was endorsed by the House Committee on Games and Amusements and the Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization chaired by Rep. Bagatsing and Rep. Erico Basilio Fabian (2nd District, Zamboanga City), respectively.

“It is imperative that we integrate all aspects of horseracing under one body which will orchestrate the activities of the entire sector to include not just horseracing operations and its betting aspects but also that of horse-breeding and the licensing of the personnel involved in the sport,” said Bagatsing, principal author of the bill.

Under the bill the Authority shall be vested with quasi-judicial functions and shall have exclusive jurisdiction on the supervision and control over all aspects of the conduct of thoroughbred horseracing and horse breeding.

The body’s jurisdiction also covers the importation and exportation of breeding stock, framing and scheduling of races, ownership, construction and safety of racetracks, allocation of prizes and security of horseracing.

The creation of the Authority abolishes the Philippine Racing Commission which was created under Presidential Decree 420.

Under the measure to be known as the “Charter of the Philippine Thoroughbred Horseracing Authority,” the powers and functions of the Authority shall include the formulation of an integrated development framework for the industry and the registration and regulation of the different personnel involved in horseracing.

The Authority is likewise mandated to determine the charges, fees, dues or assessments with respect to issuance of licenses and permits.

Moreover, the bill provides that the sum equivalent to 1% of the gross receipts derived from the total sale of tickets for all racing events shall be retained by the Authority provided that the 1% of the gross receipts derived from the total sale of tickets for pari-mutuel races or the most common form of horse racing, betting, shall continue to be retained as a special fund for the use of the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).

“The growth of the industry has to be steered by a viable government organization which will promote and encourage investments, act as a regulator and be the leader in securing the future of the thoroughbred horse racing industry,” Bagatsing said.


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