Sunday, August 26, 2007

More environment-friendly end for video karera machines

By Jeannette Andrade

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) “symbolically” destroyed yesterday some 30 video karera (VK) machines at the grandstand of its headquarters in Camp Karingal, Quezon City.

The police organization then let the QC Environmental Protection and Waste Disposal (EPWD) unit to dispose of the machines in a more environment-friendly manner for a fee.

The approach is a first for any police district in Metro Manila. Usually, VK machines are smashed using axes or crowbars.

Video karera machines look like slot machines. A person can bet as low as P1 on an electronic horse and win all the coins inside the machine. The machines are illegal because minors are able to play the games.

QCPD Director Sr. Supt. Magtanggol Gatdula destroyed about five machines, then let the EPWD to take the other units which will be destroyed at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority grounds in Zambales.

QCPD spokesperson Supt. Asprinio Cabula told the Inquirer they had to pay P100 for every unit the EPWD took.

Cabula said the materials used in manufacturing the machines were “hazardous.” “The monitors (screens) of the VK are reportedly made of materials that could adversely affect the environment,” he said.

The VK machines, the spokesperson said, were confiscated in several barangays but no suspected illegal machine operators were arrested. The suspects were identified only as “Boyet Africa,” “Nick,” “Ely,” and “Eva,” who reportedly operated in Barangay Pasong Tamo in Pingkian, and Barangays Salvacion and Manresa, both in La Loma.

Cabula maintained that when the raids were conducted, there were no persons in the places were the VK machines were found.

Gatdula said the destruction of the machines was a “manifestation of the police district’s and the local government’s united effort against the operation of the illegal game.”

No comments: