Philippines President Says No to Casino Project on Boracay Island

Boracay Island CasinoMany people are confused about the recent statement issued by Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines President, regarding the million dollar casino project proposed on Boracay Island.

Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd is the owner, and it has cleared all the obstacles for developing a tourist-friendly casino resort on the island.

The Philippines President surprised everyone when he issued the following statement:

I don't have plans there for casinos. There are enough; there are too many. The casino here, a casino there.

However, according to some television news channel, the President is rumoured to step back after issuing such a hard-line statement. Recently, he appeared for an interview before leaving for a conference in China where he said that no kind of business or casino could be developed on Boracay as long as the island is unavailable for cleaning purpose.

It suggests that Duterte might approve the opening of a casino once the cleaning work completes on the Boracay Island.

The government of Philippines has recently ordered for six months closure of the island due to full-scale environmental cleanup. The closing of the island is likely to commence from April 26, 2018. The Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corp or PAGCOR are resolute that such kind of move would undoubtedly harm the planning for the setup of a new casino resort because it would take 2-3 years for the project to complete.

In February 2018, PAGCOR had issued a provisional gaming license for operating casino to Galaxy Entertainment. The permit was for building a casino resort in Boracay Island, and the company was looking forward to investing a whopping sum of $500 million in the project.

President Duterte is in Favor of Farming over Gaming

The Philippines President has denied any knowledge for a new casino set up in the Boracay Island, and he wants the area to for farming purpose where plots will be made available to farmers. It is in accordance to a decision made by Supreme Court in 2008 that reinforced the decision made by the earlier Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

According to the courts’ ruling, agricultural land of 629 hectares is reserved while forest land of 400 hectares on the Boracay Island is protected.

The local people of the country were surprised after hearing the statement of the President who favours farming over gaming. The main reason for the preference of President Duterte is that Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR has stated that it would take three decades before the land in Boracay Island is available for the land reform. It suggests that no cultivation title will be available in Boracay Island before 2036.

DENR is aware of the setup of a casino resort in the island and Roy Cimatu who is the Environment Secretary said that Galaxy Entertainment requires approval from Environmental Management Bureau. Until then, no construction work can commence over there. The Galaxy Entertainment has not released any official statement on the remarks of President Duterte.

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