The president of the Southeast Asian country reiterated that there would be no casinos on Boracay island.
Philippines.- Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated this weekend that he’s against the idea of bringing a casino to Boracay, the island that is set to be closed for six months for environmental problems.
Duterte said that his Cabinet recommended the closure of the island, despite concerns that the six months would be too long and can affect livelihoods. “I said I do not interfere in the work of the Cabinet members. If that’s the recommendation of Roy Cimatu, Eduardo Año and Wanda Teo, then that is it. I do not just revoke recommendations. Once a Cabinet member makes a recommendation, it’s a 90 per cent approved. The 10 per cent will matter if there are abuses,” said Duterte.
The president also said that there are no plans to build a casino in the island and promised that “there will never be one” as he believes that gambling should be reduced to the barest minimum. Last week, Galaxy Entertainment Group’s local partner acquired further lands on the island, with the intention of using them for the proposed casino. Rowen Aguirre, municipal executive assistant for Boracay affairs said that the companies have already acquired 23 hectares in the area.
Moreover, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s (PAGCOR) chairwoman Andrea Domingo has denied recent claims that Galaxy Entertainment Group would abandon its integrated resort project in Boracay. She stated that there’s still a final decision to be made on the issue and denied any formal communication between PAGCOR and the Secretary of Tourism on the matter.
Nevertheless, Duterte said that he will not allow the companies to build a casino: “You know the billionaires? Are they from the Okada (Group)? All of them made a courtesy call before they started on a project. They were of the belief that island there is okay for anything. And since there are casinos there, they want to build casinos there. I did not allow it.”