twitterfacebookgoogle+register
+ Reply to Thread
Page 5 of 6 FirstFirst ... 3 4 5 6 LastLast
Results 41 to 50 of 53

Thread: BORACAY, Paradise or Paradise Lost?

Share/Bookmark
  1. #41
    BACKGROUNDER: How Boracay shifted from agriculture to tourism

    Inquirer Research / 07:20 AM April 10, 2018

    The island of Boracay was mainly an agricultural community before it became a tourist destination, according to a 1998 study titled “Governance in Context: Boracay Island, Philippines” by William Trousdale of EcoPlan International.

    Locals then depended on copra and fish for their source of income. But local fishing eventually suffered due to overharvesting and degradation of coral reef, while the price of copra significantly dropped.

    The loss of income and livelihood opportunities for the residents paved the way for the transformation of Boracay into a tourist destination in the late 1970s.

    “From its inception, the primary factor motivating tourism development in Boracay has been economic: profits, jobs, income and government revenue,” Trousdale said in the study.

    In a 1996 study, “Sun, Sea, Sand and Sewage: A Wastewater Management Plan for Boracay Island, The Philippines,” marine biologist Pierre Pillout noted that Boracay had no industry or agriculture that could have caused algal blooms along the island’s shoreline.

    Pillout said that ammonia, nitrate and phosphate, which caused the spread of algae in Boracay, came from industrial, agricultural and domestic wastes.

    But since Boracay had no industry or agriculture to speak of then, Pillout concluded algal blooms in Boracay could be caused only by sewage from septic tanks.

  2. #42
    ‘No to casino, yes to land reform on Boracay Island’

    Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:23 AM April 10, 2018

    DAVAO CITY - No casino will operate on Boracay Island, which will be closed to tourism for six months so it can be rehabilitated, President Duterte declared on Monday.

    To the surprise of many, the President also declared the 1,032-hectare resort island an agrarian reform area, saying under the law, the country’s premier tourist destination is an agricultural and forest area.

    “I did not say I will allow casino there somewhere. Far from it actually. I never said anything about building anything or even a nipa hut there,” Mr. Duterte said.

    He made the statement before leaving for Hainan, China, in reaction to reports the government would allow a casino to be built on the island, which he called a “cesspool” in February.

    After Malacañang announced on April 5 that Boracay would be shut down for six months starting April 26, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said the closure was meant to pave the way for the construction of a casino.

    Two casinos

    Two major casinos on Boracay Island have been approved by state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).

    Pagcor has approved a $500-million integrated casino resort of Macau’s Galaxy Entertainment Group and its local partner, AB Leisure Exponent Inc., a unit of the publicly listed Leisure and Resorts World Corp.

    Resorts World Manila also plans to start gaming operations at the Savoy Hotel, a component of Megaworld Corp.’s Boracay Coast development.

    In his departure press conference in Davao City, the President noted that the island was owned by the government.

    “It’s agricultural and forestal. Unless there is a law or proclamation by the President setting aside anything there, an inch of land maybe, then that would be all right for other people to go in,” he said.

    But because there was no such proclamation, Mr. Duterte said the law remained and that Boracay was a government property.

    “I’ll place it under [the] land reform [program]. It would be better. I will tell you now, ‘I will give it to farmers. I will give them tractors,’” the President said.

    SC ruling, GMA declaration

    A Supreme Court ruling in 2008 declared the island state-owned. Rejecting ownership claims of several resort owners, the high court said the island, which it classified as forested and agricultural, belonged to the government.

    On May 22, 2006, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation No. 1064 that categorized 628.96 ha, or 60.94 percent of the island, as alienable and disposable, and the rest as forest land and protected areas.

    Most of the areas classified as public lands are occupied by residential and commercial structures.

    Claimants of public lands will have to wait for 30 years after the land is declared alienable and disposable before they can apply for titling, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

    Mr. Duterte said he did not care about moneyed people or businesses that would be displaced by his decision to declare Boracay an agrarian reform area.

    Help for poor

    “You’ll ask me what about the businesses? I’m sorry, the law says it’s agricultural. Why would I deviate from that?” he said.

    The President said the poor, who would be affected by his closure order, would get help from the government.

    “If you’re asking financial help, I’m going to sign a proclamation of calamity and I can make available P2 billion of assistance but this is only for the poor Filipino,” he said.

    The President said various government agencies were helping in the cleanup.

    After the cleanup, Mr, Duterte said he “would return” Boracay to the Filipino people.

    “It’s going to be a land reform area. I do not have any plan to [put up] casinos there. I will give it to the people who need it most,” he said.

    Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu is also against casinos in Boracay.

    “No [to the casinos]. There are so many other places to put those up. Why [in Boracay] when we’re already working so hard to clean it up?” Cimatu said on Friday at the DENR central office in Quezon City. - Reports from Allan Nawal and Jaymee T. Gamil

  3. #43
    Bello warns against Boracay layoffs

    Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:25 AM April 10, 2018

    Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Monday warned employers in Boracay against terminating their employees during the six-month closure of the resort island starting April 26.

    In an advisory, Bello said the “temporary suspension of business operations should not and must not result in the termination or separation of any employee.”

    Weeks before the start of the closure, business establishments, including inns, have started laying off workers.

    While saying the closure of Boracay as ordered by the President would compel the temporary suspension of business operations, Bello notified employers that they could only “observe the principle of ‘no work, no pay,’ or require the employees to go on forced leave by utilizing their leave credits, if any.”

    He said employees were expected to be called back to work upon the lifting of the temporary closure of Boracay.

    The labor advisory is for “strict observance and compliance.”

    Bello earlier said the labor department would extend assistance, including the provision of emergency employment, to affected workers.

    He said some 5,000 informal sector workers and members of the indigenous community on the island would be employed in the cleanup of the 1,032-hectare island.

    The labor secretary has set aside an initial P60 million for the emergency employment assistance program.

    Labor group Partido Manggagawa called on the labor department to initiate a dialogue with affected workers on the terms of emergency assistance. - Tina G. Santos

  4. #44
    Boracay wholly state-owned — 2008 Supreme Court ruling

    Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - April 9, 2018 - 12:00am

    MANILA, Philippines - The government has every right to close down Boracay Island, based on existing jurisprudence by the Supreme Court (SC) that declared the famous tourist destination as state-owned.

    An October 2008 decision of the SC had classified the island as both forest and agricultural land that belongs to the government as it junked ownership claims by several resort owners.

    The ruling, which stands as it has not been appealed or reconsidered, could provide legal justification to the six-month closure ordered by Malacañang for the rehabilitation of the island.

    It may also have legal implications upon the reported plan of the Duterte administration to allow casino resorts in the island, a court insider told The STAR. “Giving property ownership to casino resorts in areas covered by forest land under the law may be questioned based on this decision,” explained the source, who requested anonymity.

    The SC classified the owners of resorts fronting the shoreline as merely “builders in good faith” because the area is a forestland that cannot be privatized.

    “The continued possession and considerable investment of private claimants do not automatically give them a vested right in Boracay. Nor do these give them a right to apply for a title to the land they are presently occupying,” said the 35-page decision penned by now retired Associate Justice Ruben Reyes.

    “At any rate, the Court is tasked to determine the legal status of Boracay Island, and not look into its physical layout. Hence, even if its forest cover has been replaced by beach resorts, restaurants and other commercial establishments, it has not been automatically converted from public forest to alienable agricultural land,” it stressed.

    The SC affirmed Proclamation 1064 issued by then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which classified Boracay Island into 400 hectares of reserved forestland for “protection purposes” and 628.96 hectares of agricultural land that are “alienable and disposable.” It explained that only owners with valid land titles since June 12, 1945, the date prescribed under the Public Land Act or Commonwealth Act 141, could claim ownership to their properties in the island. Most owners of beachfront properties are without titles.

    Under the law, unclassified lands are considered public forests and only agricultural lands can be disposed of for private ownership.

    The Court ruled that even those who occupy their properties “since time immemorial” cannot make ownership claims, without valid original titles obtained from the period.

    “For one thing, those with lawful possession may claim good faith as builders of improvements. They can take steps to preserve or protect their possession. For another, they may look into other modes of applying for original registration of title, such as by homestead or sales patent,” it suggested.

    “The burden of proof in overcoming the presumption of State ownership of the lands of the public domain is on the person applying for registration, who must prove that the land subject of the application is alienable or disposable,” the ruling said.

    But the high court pointed out that the more practical option is for Congress to pass a law that would reclassify the lands and entitle the claimants to ownership over certain areas.

    The court issued this ruling based on petitions challenging Proclamation 1064 filed by two groups of resort owners – Jose Yap Jr., Libertad Talapian, Mila Sumnad and Aniceto Yap; and Orlando Sacay, the owner of Waling-Waling Beach Resort and chairman of the Board of Boracay Foundation Inc., and Wilfredo Gelito, owner of Willy’s Beach Resort.

    The groups lamented that even if they already spent millions to develop their respective properties, they could not be granted ownership.

    “While the Court commiserates with private claimants’ plight, we are bound to apply the law strictly and judiciously. This is the law and it should prevail,” the Court added.

    No infringement

    President Duterte’s order to close Boracay does not infringe the people’s right to travel, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said yesterday.

    “The closure of Boracay is meant to protect (the island) since it is our crown jewel – tourist destination – to ensure that it’s not our generation alone that can discover the paradise that is Boracay,” Roque said, in response to a query whether or not the government’s move is a violation of the people’s right to travel.

    The government has invoked its police power to protect the environment when Duterte followed the recommendation of the Departments of Tourism (DOT) and the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to rehabilitate Boracay.

    Staggered shutdown

    Meanwhile, senators yesterday sought a staggered implementation of the shutdown of Boracay Island to lessen the economic losses to be sustained by the six-month closure.

    Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian noted the announcement of the DILG and DOT that the rehabilitation of the island “can be conducted by partial closure or a closure of different segments of Boracay.”

    “Six months really has a lot of economic impact that’s why the sooner we can open Boracay, the better for the entire industry. We can open a small segment after 30 days, then another (segment) so Boracay operates slowly,” Gatchalian said.

    The proposed “phased” closure and opening of portions of Boracay should be accompanied by a cash-for-work program for the estimated 30,000 workers, who will be displaced by the shutdown, according to the senator. – With Christina Mendez, Paolo Romero

  5. #45
    Duterte denies knowing about planned Boracay casino

    President Rodrigo Duterte also says he will 'give' Boracay land to farmers instead

    Pia Ranada
    @piaranada

    Published 4:00 PM, April 09, 2018
    Updated 9:35 PM, April 09, 2018

    MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte denied he knew about plans to construct a casino in Boracay.

    The planned casino angered netizens and critics who claimed it was proof that the government is not sincere in efforts to protect the popular tourist destination.

    The supposed casino would be built by a Chinese company.

    "Walang plano diyang casino-casino. Tama na iyan kasi sobra na. May casino dito, casino doon," Duterte said in a press conference on Monday, April 9, before leaving for China.

    (There are no plans for a casino. Let's stop it because it's too much. There's a casino here, casino there.)

    For the President, Boracay should be a farmers' island instead.

    "Consider Boracay a land reform area. I will give it to the farmers, to the Filipinos first," he said.

    "I will issue a proclamation. Lahat 'yan, lahat (all of the lands), agricultural," he added.

    Duterte said that, according to the law, Boracay is mostly comprised of agricultural or forest land.

    "The law says it is forest, agricultural. Why would I deviate from that?" he said.

    The 6-month closure order, said the President, would be in preparation for the return of the land "to the people who need it the most." (READ: CHEAT SHEET: What to expect from Boracay closure)

    "It's going to be a land reform area for the Filipinos. If you want to build something there, they can build a floating –" he said.

    Boracay's 6-month closure to tourists begins on April 26. (READ: Is the government prepared for Boracay's closure?) – Rappler.com

  6. #46
    Duterte: No master plan for Boracay, just clean-up of agri area

    Published April 9, 2018 3:30pm

    By JON VIKTOR D. CABUENAS, GMA News

    The government does not have a master plan for the Boracay island aside from allocating P2 billion in calamity funds for locals of the area, President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday.

    "Master plan, wala akong master plan. Linisin ko muna 'yan kasi agricultural area 'yan," he said in a press conference in Davao City.

    Just last week, Senators Nancy Binay and Richard Gordon emphasized the need to have a master plan for the entry of tourists to Boracay to address its environmental issues.


    Duterte earlier this month approved the recommendation to temporarily close the island to make way for its six-month rehabilitation starting April 26.

    The six-month rehabilitation of the island was recommended by the DENR, the DOT, and the DILG last month after Duterte threatened to close down the island after he described the tourist destination as a "cesspool."

    In the same press conference, however, Duterte said the entire island of Boracay will be a land reform area and will be given to farmers once the rehabilitation of the area is done.

    "You want to know now? I'm going to give the announcement. It's going to be a land reform area for the Filipino," he said.

    The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) earlier said the six-month closure of the island would at most have a 0.1-percent effect on the gross domestic product (GDP), but this could have "significant" effects on the local economy.

    According to stakeholders of the island, the year-long closure of the island could result in at least P56 billion in foregone revenues, and render as much as 36,000 people jobless.

    With this, Duterte said the government will make available about P2 billion in calamity funds for locals of Boracay who would be affected by the rehabilitation.

    "If you are asking for a financial help, we are going to assign the proclamation of calamity and we can make available about P2 billion of assistance but these are only for the poor Filipinos," he said. - NB, GMA News

  7. #47
    Mass layoffs start on Philippines' Boracay Island ahead of 6-month closure

    PUBLISHEDAPR 9, 2018, 11:29 AM SGT

    ILOILO CITY (THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Workers are feeling the pain even before Boracay Island is closed down for six months starting on April 26.

    Business establishments have started laying off workers less than three weeks before the shutdown of the resort island to all tourism activities.

    The layoffs come as some residents and business operators wonder whether martial law will be declared on Boracay Island.

    Proposed guidelines governing the closure include banning all tourists while allowing only residents and workers with official identification cards to stay on the island.

    Swimming in the sea will not be allowed during the closure, according to the draft guidelines to be implemented by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and law enforcement agencies.

    Visitors, including journalists, will be allowed entry only if they have approval from the authorities for a definite duration, according to Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III of the DILG.

    Foreign residents are to be "re-validated" by the Bureau of Immigration and a one-entry, one-exit point in going to and leaving the island will be enforced.

    The guidelines would be finalised this week, Densing said.

    The shutdown is aimed at rehabilitating the 1,032-hectare island, which suffers from a host of problems, including woefully inadequate sewage facilities that prompted President Rodrigo Duterte in February to call Boracay a "cesspool".

    ZERO BOOKINGS

    A hotel chain has laid off 280 workers, mostly newly hired, in anticipation of zero bookings, especially by foreign tourists, during the closure.

    "We will decide later on our remaining employees," said an official of the hotel, who asked not to be identified for lack of authority to issue a statement.

    The island's closure will affect at least 73,522 residents, including 17,328 registered workers and 9,365 unregistered ones.

    Business groups expect more establishments to trim down the number of workers to cut down on overhead costs.

    SENDING EMPLOYEES HOME

    A small family-operated inn at Sitio Angol, Barangay Manoc-Manoc, will be sending home all its five employees to their hometowns in Aklan.

    "We cannot pay their salaries, but we will continue remitting contributions for the Social Security System, (Philippine Health Insurance Corp.) and Pag-Ibig Fund," said the hotel manager.

    He said the inn still had to continue paying for electricity and water services even without guests.

    A delicatessen will have to let go of three casual workers because of the closure, according to its owner. The owner still needs to discuss plans for the remaining staff.

    Some business operators will absorb their hotel or resort staff in their other businesses so they can continue working.

    Others said they would continue to support their workers despite the closure.

    "We have decided to keep them even if we are closed because they have been with us for many years and they have helped us build and develop our resort," said Ruth Tirol-Jarantilla, owner of Sea Wind Boracay resort.

    Agencies under the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Western Visayas will finalise their contingency plans and measures this week.

    Johnson Cañete, Western Visayas director of the Department of Labour and Employment, earlier said the agency was preparing to assist 17,735 registered workers to be dislocated during the shutdown.

    The proposed compensation package includes a 50 pesos (S$1.30) insurance and a compensation equivalent to the regional minimum wage of 323.50 pesos per day, from 30 to 90 days.

    But the island workers were earning more than that amount. For instance, a souvenir vendor and masseuse can earn from 700 pesos to 900 pesos per day during the peak months.

    The President is expected to declare a state of calamity on Boracay Island to allow the release of 2 billion pesos in public funds, which could be used to help displaced workers.

    CLEAR GUIDELINES NEEDED

    Business groups have lamented the lack of clear plans and guidelines on how the government will handle the dislocation of thousands of workers and the losses of business operators, especially those with bank loans and high overhead costs.

    The island attracted more than 2 million visitors last year, generating 56 billion pesos in revenue.

    The shutdown will result in 20 billion pesos in forgone revenue, according to the government.

    Densing said the ban on swimming was to allow the environment to "heal" as part of efforts to rehabilitate the ecosystem of the island.

    Policemen at Barangay Caticlan's jetty port on the mainland of Malay town will be tasked with inspecting those going to the island to ensure that there will be no tourists, according to Chief Inspector Joem Malong, spokesman for the Philippine National Police in Western Visayas.

    UNNECESSARY

    Residents, including business operators, have decried the guidelines as unnecessary and violative of their rights.

    "What's happening now is beyond improving infrastructure, correcting violations, road widening and (enforcing the) beach setback. Its direction is towards semi-martial law and people are now not only worried, but also scared and terrified," one said.

    Iloilo-based lawyer Hector Teodosio questioned the restrictions on residents and visitors.

    "There is no legal basis to restrict people from going to the beach or entering the island. These are potentially violations of our liberty to abode," he said.

    Several people have also raised concerns over the deployment of military and police forces.

    On Saturday (April 7), the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Western Visayas sent 139 more policemen to the island. They are trained in civil disturbance management, according to Malong.

    The enforcement guidelines have yet to be finalised, said the PNP spokesman in Western Visayas.

  8. #48
    Boracay off-limits to Macau casino firm

    Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:02 AM April 13, 2018

    HONG KONG - Macau’s Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. may open a casino in the Philippines but not on Boracay Island, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

    Galaxy last month won a provisional license for a $500-million integrated casino-resort project on the holiday island.

    Roque said the grant of a provisional license to Galaxy gave it the right to operate a casino somewhere else.

    President Duterte has ordered the closure of Boracay - which he described as a “cesspool” - for, at most, six months in order to rehabilitate it and clean it up. The closure starts on April 26.

    “The President was talking about the physical existence of a casino in Boracay, which he will not allow unless he has issued a proclamation to this effect, because of the decision that Boracay is state-owned,” Roque said in a press briefing.

    Provisional license

    “So they (Galaxy) could have a provisional license. If they can’t build in Boracay, perhaps they could build elsewhere,” he added.

    Roque said the President wanted to give priority to ordinary Filipinos and to farmers when it came to Boracay.

    Before leaving for China on Monday, Mr. Duterte said he did not want a casino in Boracay.

    December meeting

    The President met with owners of Galaxy Entertainment last December. Three months later, the gambling regulator, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), granted Galaxy a provisional license to operate a casino.

    Asked about this meeting given Mr. Duterte’s position on the casino construction, Roque said: “Well of course, we welcome all investors.”

    “But I think the President has already addressed the issue of a new casino in Boracay: ‘There will be no new casino in Boracay,’” he added.

    Partnership

    Earlier, Malacañang officials had defended the proposed casino in Boracay amid efforts to clean it up, saying any new construction would comply with environmental rules and that building the casino was not inconsistent with the rehabilitation efforts.

    Galaxy partnered with Leisure and Resorts World Corp., which acquired the 23-hectare lot, for the casino project.

    The provisional license is only the start of a long process that will allow Galaxy to start operations, Pagcor said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The companies have yet to submit documentary requirements such as proof of land ownership and a detailed project plan, it added. - LEILA B. SALAVERRIA
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  9. #49
    That casino must go

    By: Peter Wallace - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:26 AM April 12, 2018

    The approval of a casino on Boracay MUST be canceled. There is no place for gamblers in paradise. Boracay is for nature lovers, not gamblers. There are plenty of wonderful (if you are foolish enough to be an inveterate gambler) casinos in Manila. You can waste your money there.

    Leave Boracay and other idyllic resorts to those who love the sun, sand, and sea. Boracay is for enjoying the beauty of nature, something humans were trying to destroy until the President came along and voiced what all decent people who have visited knew: Boracay had become a cesspool. Let’s not spoil it with a monstrosity. (And it will be a monstrosity, I can assure you. Fit for a city, perhaps, but for a beach paradise, never.) Architecture should blend in, not garishly stand out.

    Please support me. Mount a campaign to keep Boracay, and all other resorts, pristine. “NO CASINOS ON BORACAY.” Help me spread this on social media—through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Allow the government to rehabilitate Boracay, campaign against the construction of a casino and make the island more “Instagrammable,” as millennials call it. I will establish a website you can log on to and vote to support; in the meantime, please check www.wallacebusinessforum.com for our online poll.

    What I’m worried about next is the “plan.” The President wants Boracay closed for six months starting April 26. Fine, although it’s a bit long for the good guys. But if all it’s going to result in is the destruction of a few buildings and the haphazard building of some septic tanks, then nothing will be achieved.

    Are the wastewater companies ready to accept many new connections to their wastewater treatment facilities? Are the facilities sufficient? Or will they have to expand? Or, will one start from scratch, and build? Can that be done in six months? I doubt it.

    Will they be recompensed for doing so?

    Has a master plan of design been made and approved? Buildings to not only be more than 30 meters from the waterline, but, as in Bali, no taller than the coconut trees (three stories) and blending with nature, not fighting it in vulgarity? And soundly constructed? Has the Department of Public Works and Highways finalized the plan and put teams in place to improve the road system? Have the demolition teams been hired to get rid of the illegal structures?

    Six months will speed by, and if the planning and follow-through implementation are not done, we’ll be no better-off than at the beginning. The President needs to form an emergency task force — today — of pertinent government agencies and private-sector experts (Jun Palafox can lead that group) that will include environmentalists to quickly (two weeks!) develop a plan. And be given the authority to rush it into action.

    When all that is finished, a subsequent plan should be developed to cover all resorts. And Congress should prioritize giving it the force of law, with severe penalties for violation. Let’s stop the rot before it gets worse.

    I rather like the idea of Ramon Ang to build a bridge connecting the island of Boracay to Caticlan in the Aklan mainland.

    According to Ang, the bridge should lessen the number of people staying permanently on the island.

    As I mentioned last week, there should be limits on the number of tourists. Boracay, and elsewhere, can only sustain a limited number of people—residents and tourists. Determine what that number is, and proceed from there.

    We voted President Duterte into power because we wanted tough change. Enough of collusive violation of societal norms. Well, here’s a tough change started; it’s now up to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu (and he should be the one, he’s spoken sensibly on the issue already, and environmental protection must be the primary factor in deciding what is to be done) to lead the task force in installing permanent change on how we develop the beauty of the Philippines. Not rush to wantonly destroy it, as in the past.

    A final point: The local officials responsible for the ruin of Boracay must be haled to court, and removed from office (if career officials) or never voted again (if elected).

    I’m sure there are no casinos in heaven. There should be none in the paradise that Boracay can be.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  10. #50
    Pagcor: Galaxy hasn’t backed out of Boracay

    By: Daxim L. Lucas - Reporter / @daxinq Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:22 AM April 19, 2018

    The country’s gaming regulator belied reports that Galaxy Entertainment Group would abandon its plan to build an integrated resort in Boracay, saying a final decision has yet to be made on the controversial issue.

    In a text message, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) chair Andrea Domingo expressed surprise at the statement of a Department of Tourism (DOT) official on Tuesday about the Macau gaming giant’s supposed pullout from the deal, saying there was no formal communication between the two agencies about the matter.

    Domingo added that Galaxy had not informed Pagcor about any changes to its plan to build a $500-million integrated resort on an inland property owned by its local partner, publicly listed Leisure and Resorts World Corp.

    No final decision

    At the same time, Leisure and Resorts World said in a statement that it continued to be in talks with Galaxy Entertainment about the project.

    “Both parties have not reached any final decision regarding its planned Boracay resort project,” Leisure and Resorts World said. “Following protocol, no change in plans or project location would be made without prior consultation and agreement with Pagcor.”

    The latest pronouncements run contrary to statements made by Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing that Galaxy had “abandoned” its planned Boracay project.

    He made the statement in a press conference on Tuesday in the popular tourist island, which the government has decided to shut down for six months starting on April 26.

    DOT clarification

    Densing quoted Tourism Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre as saying that Galaxy Entertainment would abandon its Boracay project.

    But Alegre clarified on Tuesday night that he was merely asked if such a report was true and that if it were, it would be a welcome development.

    He added that the DOT had not received any official communication from Galaxy Entertainment and its local partner about their plans.

    The conflicting statements on whether Galaxy would abandon its plan to put up a resort in Boracay came after presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in Hong Kong last week that Galaxy may open a casino in the Philippines but not on the resort island.

    Roque said President Duterte was against “the physical existence of a casino in Boracay.”

    The President said he did not want a casino in Boracay, which he declared a land reform area.

    The project proponents have committed to work with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to ensure full compliance with laws.

    Letter of no objection

    Pagcor had already issued a provisional approval for the project after securing a “letter of no objection” from the local government, although Domingo said proponents would still have to comply with requirements to be able to get a license.

    Based on the project’s design, the casino area’s maximum footprint would not exceed 7.5 percent of the resort’s floor area.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI


 
+ Reply to Thread
Page 5 of 6 FirstFirst ... 3 4 5 6 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

 
Visitor count:
Copyright © 2005 - 2013. Gameface.ph