Filipinos are reeling from the effects of the suspension of e-sabong operations nationwide.Such is the story of Ferlie Radasa and her ailing father Ferdinand, who depends on the income ofhis daughter who worked for an e-sabong outlet and the assistance given by PitmasterFoundation for his dialysis treatment.Netizens who learned about the plight of Ferdinand empathized with him, aware that the freedialysis treatment and medical assistance regularly given by the Pitmaster Foundation stoppedafter the operation of e-sabong was suspended in May.“Ang sakit sa dibdib na makitang merong mga ganitong tao na nahihirapan. Knowing na e-sabong lang naman talaga ‘yung pinagkakakitaan nila, pero ipinagkait pa. Sana maibalik na langang e-sabong. Alam naman po natin na marami talaga itong naitutulong lalo na sa mga kapos sabuhay at hirap ng makahanap ng ibang trabaho (It hurts to see people like him suffer, knowingthat he relies solely on e-sabong, We are aware how it helped the jobless and those in need),”Jethy Cornel-San Miguel said. “Sana makita po ninyo ‘yung sakripisyo ng ilan natingmamamayan na sa e-sabong lang umaasa. Lahat po tayo may karapatang mamuhay ng malaya,sana ibigay nyo nalang yung pag-asa sa iba para hindi na sila nahihirapan pa (I hope you realizethat some of our countrymen rely on e-sabong. All of us have the right live freely, so I hope youprovide hope for others).Free dialysis treatment is one of the initiatives of Pitmaster Foundation to help those in need.However, its assistance is now limited following the suspension of e-sabong. Also affected arethe families of those who worked in the e-sabong industry.“Pitmaster knows how to help people in need. It’s not just about having a job, but also helpingmedically. Mang Ferdinand is a living testimony that Pitmaster really impacts the life of the poorwho are now crying for help. Pitmaster gives them opportunity and hope. Regulators shouldconsider these testimonials as these people are aware of how Pitmaster changed their livespositively,” Daniel Trent Bernabe said.Lucila Platero, on the other hand, said a prolonged ban on e-sabong operations means “banningan opportunity for people like Ferdinand to even live.”“Medicines are already expensive for people like Kuya Ferdinand, what more if you areunemployed and don’t have the privilege to study, and at the same time, need to address medicalconcerns? We have to look at the banning of e-sabong as not merely a game. This industry is lifefor people, like Kuya Ferdinand, and banning such is like banning an opportunity for people likehim to even live,” she pointed out.Meanwhile, social media users also commended Pitmaster Foundation for its “unceasing vision”to elevate the current plight of Filipinos.JP Fernandez said the charity organization is an advocate for the hopeless and those in need. Hestressed this as he underscored the importance of resuming e-sabong operations to continue itsinvolvement in humanitarian endeavors.“Bilang isang anak na merong magulang na need ng medical help, naka-karelate ako sa mgakababayan nating walang makukuhaan ng pang-gastos sa araw-araw dahil sa nawalang e-sabong.Sana mabalik na kasi marami talaga naapektuhan—lalo mga mahihirap (Being someone with aparent who needs medical help, I can relate to those who have nowhere to go for their dailyneeds after the suspension of e-sabong. I hope its operation resumes as a lot are affected,especially the poor). For me, Pitmaster Foundation is an instrument for goodness and maraminaman talaga ang makikinabang (a lot benefit from it),” Fernandez said.Peter Vallejo hopes more people will recognize how Pitmaster Foundation has remained faithfulto its passionate desire to serve Filipinos.“Ang sakit isipin na mawawalan ka ng pagasa na maglook forward sa buhay mo dahil ‘yungsumusuporta at gumagamot sa karamdaman mo mismo yung nawala. Nalulungkot ako nungsinabi ni Mang Ferdinand na ‘gusto ko pa mabuhay’ kasi parang lumalabas na wala na siyangibang direksyon or choice dahil katulad niya ay hindi nila kayang magpagamot at tangingPitmasters lamang ang kanyang sinasandalan (It pains to think that some lost hope just becausethe one they relied upon for support is gone. I was saddened by Mang Ferdinand’s statement, ‘Istill want to live,’ as it appears he lost direction in life because he can’t afford medical treatmentand relies solely on Pitmaster),” Vallejo said. “Kaya sana naman ay marinig ito ng iba at ma-realize nila kung gaano na kalawak at kalayo ‘yung narating at mga taong natulungan ngprogramang ito, sana dinggin natin si Mang Ferdinand at iba pang mga binubuo ng PitmasterFoundation para magkaroon tayo ng tunay na development na hindi limited sa mga may-kaya atmayayaman lamang (I hope the extent of the assistance given by this program and MangFerdinand’s plight as well as others who depend on Pitmaster are realized so development willnot be confined to the rich).”Data show that e-sabong helps fund the universal health care through the income it shares to thePhilippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).At its peak, the gamefowl industry reportedly generated ₱650 million per month in revenue forPagcor. At least ₱1.37 billion was collected from seven licensed e-sabong operators fromJanuary to March 2022 alone.However, with e-sabong suspended, Pagcor projected a revenue loss of up to ₱5 billion this year.