Okada may bid for infra projects
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - July 25, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Japanese casino mogul Kazuo Okada wants to participate in the Duterte administration’s infrastructure projects, particularly those that would help boost tourism.

Okada, who paid a courtesy call on President Duterte, specifically wants to join the bidding for a new airport if the administration would push through with such a project, said his Filipino business partner Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco.

“Mr. Okada specifically expressed his desire to bid for the international airport. He believes the airport is your first contact and so your airport, if well designed and efficient, people will talk about that and more tourists will come together,” Cojuangco said.

Businessmen Ramon Ang and Manuel V. Pangilinan have also expressed interest to join a bidding for a new airport. 

During Okada’s courtesy call on President Duterte, he conveyed his commitment to help the new administration.

“It was a time to congratulate the President and he expressed support to the new administration and Mr. Okada informed him we are doing our best to develop the tourism industry,” Cojuangco said.

Okada and Cojuango are partners in Okada Manila, the $2.4 billion integrated resort that will open in the 100-hectare Entertainment City in Parañaque City in November.

Cojuangco, the former Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) chairman who is back from “retirement, said one of the thrust of the partnership with the Japanese businessman is to promote tourism, an advocacy he strongly believes in.

For instance, Okada Manila is vying to host the Miss Universe pageant and is in talks with organizers.

“We are interested in (doing that) but there is still an existing contract,” Cojuangco said, referring to the global pageant.

Okada Manila will also proceed with a plan to put up a world-class opera house in the Philippines.

“This will be in Phase 2 (of the project),” said Cojuangco, who is chairman of Ballet Philippines and a known culture and arts patron. 

Cojuangco believes tourism can be the country’s competitive advantage considering Filipinos’ proficiency in English and hospitality.

Tiger Resort expects to hire some 8,000 local talents to fill up casino and hotel-related jobs for 44-hectare gaming and leisure facilities.

Okada Manila consists of two wings – the Pearl and Coral Wing, which have 15 floors each.

In terms of gaming, Okada Manila will have over 500 table games and over 3,000 electronic gaming machines.

There will also be a luxurious and opulent night club entertainment complex, which will have a maximum capacity of 4,500 guests.

It was granted a license in August 2008 to establish and operate a casino at the Entertainment City.

 

 

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