Palace maintains Duterte said 'no' to Boracay casino

Palace maintains Duterte said 'no' to Boracay casino
In this June 2018 photo, Boracay residents walk along the white sand beach.
Philstar.com / Efigenio Toledo IV

MANILA, Philippines— President Rodrigo Duterte is firm on his stance to not allow the Macau-based casino giant’s proposed mega-casino to be built in Boracay, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque affirmed on Monday.

“I don't think any private entity should test the political will of the president on the issue of casinos in Boracay,” Roque said when asked of a comment on gaming firm’s statement that it would push through with the casino on the island.



Leisure and Resorts World Corp., the locally listed gaming company founded by Rep. Alfredo Benitez (Negros Occidental), earlier said that the plan to build a mega casino-resort with Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. in Boracay is still on track.

Roque reiterated that the president said no and he “would hope they would respect that as part of executive power noting that the provisional license is not a license itself.”

“It is conditional, it is provisional, it is subject to the happening of conditions which will never be fulfilled because the president has said he will not allow it,” he added.

In March, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. signed a provisional license for the Macau-based firm to build the casino in Boracay with local partner LRWC, which was projected to cost around $500 million or P25 billion.

Galaxy executives paid a courtesy call at Malacañan last December 6. Four months later, Boracay was closed for rehabilitation, with Duterte saying the island has become a “cesspool.”

Shortly after the start of the island’s closure, Duterte denied that there are plans to build a casino in Boracay, promising that “there will never be one.”

The LRWC earlier bought 23 hectares of land in Barangay Manoc-Manoc, Boracay for the proposed casino. The construction was planned to start in 2019.

RELATED: What we know so far: Boracay casino projects amid concerns for 'cesspool' island

— Philstar intern Ali Ian Marcelino Biong






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