New Boracay Development Authority could allow casinos

In 2019, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte closed Boracay island to tourism.
In 2019, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte closed Boracay island to tourism.

The House of Representatives has recently approved the creation of the Boracay Island Development Authority, which may allow casinos on the Philippine island.

The Philippines.- The possibility of casino gaming on Boracay island has resurfaced after the House of Representatives approved the creation of the Boracay Island Development Authority as a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC).

However, the bill, was highly criticised by government agencies, local government units, stakeholders and some congressmen who want to protect the island’s environment.

A “No to Bida as GOCC” movement has been campaigning against the move.

According to the Business Mirror, Natividad Bernardino, chairman of the Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group, said: “The problem of Boracay is one of over-tourism and overdevelopment. 

“What we need in terms of sustaining the rehabilitation and ecological sustainability of the island is a regulatory body instead of a GOCC.”

She said the island has already exceeded its carrying capacity for the environment and population, and that there is no more space for further investment and development.

In 2019, Leisure & Resorts World Corp. (LRWC) dropped its plan to build a casino on its 23-hectare property in Boracay after the company stopped working with Galaxy Entertainment on the project.

The project had been announced in December 2017, when LRWC bought the parcels of land in Boracay for US$500m to develop a resort. 

However, soon after the purchase, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte closed the island destination to tourism out of concerns for the environment. He said that the increased number of visitors on the island was turning Boracay into a “cesspool.”

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