The Diocese of Kalibo and the Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI) have criticised Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s suggestion of allowing gambling on Boracay.
The Philippines.- The possibility of allowing gambling in Boracay continues to provoke criticism from anti-gambling groups. Now, the Catholic church’s Diocese of Kalibo and the Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI) have joined residents against the project.
The BFI, a non-stock, non-profit organisation that represents resorts, hotels, restaurants and other businesses in Boracay, has issued a statement saying the project should be relocated to the mainland town of Malay.
The Diocese of Kalibo, through its Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc, said: “Boracay is God’s gift to Aklan and to the world. It has become a family destination, a venue for educational advancement and entrepreneurship.”
The Bishop also called on priests in Kalibo to form groups against the project to develop a gambling hub on the island.
The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, rekindled the possibility of allowing gambling in Boracay, noting that his country needs income to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Duterte said: “We don’t have money now. Where we can get money, I will get it. If it will be from gambling, so be it.”
According to The Inquirer, residents on Boracay believe the president should allow the development of casinos in other places but not in Boracay. They want authorities to focus on increasing the vaccination rate on the island to allow the return of foreign visitors.
Boracay casino could generate 10,000 jobs, PAGCOR says
PAGCOR chairman Andrea Domingo has supported Duterte’s suggestion of allowing gambling in Boracay. She says the development could attract up to 3,000 foreign tourists a week and create 10,000 jobs.
Domingo also said that concerns about environmental issues were unfounded, citing a study. She said a company would not invest in the island “just to make garbage and destroy the ocean.”