Philippine Executive Order No. 13 Explained

Philippine Flag in front of legal scaleExecutive Order No. 13 is a Philippine gambling law signed on February 2nd, 2017 by sitting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. This Executive Order restructured how several government departments work to collaborate across agencies and jurisdictions and stomp out illegal gambling. The Executive Order was created shortly after the Philippine National Police, and the National Bureau Investigation ceased their operations to stop illicit drugs and announced a jurisdiction change.

The Creation of Executive Order No. 13

The idea behind Executive Order No. 13 was to gather more resources to prosecute illegal gambling operations and pinpoint accountability for operations tacking illicit drug distribution and manufacturing. The order clarified the jurisdictional authority for licensors and operators. The order was necessary after several licensors overstepped their boundaries and provided gambling and gaming licenses outside of their jurisdiction.

However, the Order mostly consolidated efforts to fight illegal gambling by calling on all able agencies to assist in these operations. The Executive Order came into effect as a gambling law on February 10th of the same year. The Order, which is still in effect, allows for cross-agency operations and collaboration.

The Specifics of Executive Order No. 13

The Philippine’s Executive Order No. 13 states that the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and any other able law enforcement agencies granted powers and authority by the Philippine Government strengthen their efforts in the fight against unlawful gambling. The Order calls for the coordination of the country’s Justice Department, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology. Under this Order, these agencies are required to act on any requests to investigate and stop illegal gambling operations.

The Order specifies specific powers granted to the agencies and instructs several gaming jurisdictions on how to cooperate with these agencies to assist in curbing illegal gambling. Philippine licensing agencies are also required to send in reports every six months to the Office of the President on how they have progressed in reducing illegal gaming operations.

The Intention of EO No. 13

Executive Order No. 13 intended to stop the proliferation of illegal gambling activities. The Order attempted to plug holes left by previous legislation and strengthen procedures and government powers to effectively squash illicit operations. President Duterte’s goal with EO No. 13 was to get rid of the illegal gambling market in the Philippines to allow more funding to go to the country’s legal gaming operations.

Issues with EO No. 13

Some critics argue that Executive order No. 13 provides too much power to an individual or minor agencies in tackling illegal gambling – some of these individuals have related this to the extrajudicial killings against suspected citizens. Others say unlawful gambling will continue so long as current gambling laws in the Philippines reject a majority of interested players, especially those interest in online Philippine casino gambling, and that EO No. 13 does nothing but reduce available gaming options. Under EO No. 13 agencies working together do not have to abide by external agency rules or guidelines which can cause a mess in inter-agency collaborations.