By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang said that President Duterte will never allow a casino to be built in Boracay after its six-month rehabilitation period ends in October this year.
Presidential Spokesperson made the statement after Leisure & Resorts World Corp. (LRWC) said that it remains on track to open its $55-million integrated resort in Boracay by 2021.
The 23-hectare project was thumbed down by President Duterte due to the inclusion of a casino.
Roque, in his Monday press briefing, said that Duterte has already made a decision and hopes that private businesses would respect that.
“I don’t think any private entity should test the political will of the President on the issue of casinos in Boracay,” he said.
“The President has said ‘No,’ and I would hope they would respect that, as part of Executive power,” he added.
Roque explained that the provisional license issued by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) for the project is not a license that would allow LRWC and Galaxy Entertainment to build a casino in the world-famous island.
“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 said.
Last month, Duterte said that he will not allow a casino to be built in Boracay. He had said that he cannot fathom gambling in any form.
President Duterte ordered the departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Tourism (DOT), and the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to rehabilitate Boracay after saying that the famous tourist spot has turned into a cesspool.
After the assessment of the three agencies, Duterte approved their recommendation to close down Boracay for six months to give way to its rehabilitation.