Casinos won’t solve Boracay’s overdevelopment problems—locals

ILOILO CITY — For business owners and local residents of Boracay Island, President Duterte’s sudden support for proposed casinos will not solve problems caused by overdevelopment at the country’s most famous beach destination.

“Boracay needs protection more than profit,” said the Natives of Boracay and Business Stakeholders Inc. (NABBSI), an independent people’s organization in Malay town, Aklan province.

“We are extremely dismayed and disappointed by the retraction of the President’s statement regarding the resumption of casino operations in the island,” NABBSI expressed in a position paper.

Despite the negative socio-economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, NABBSI members emphasized that creation of new casinos contradict the Duterte administration’s long-term rehabilitation plan.

NABBSI specifically pointed out that the six-month tourism closure of Boracay in 2018 might go to waste if two proposed casinos will be built by Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) and property developer Megaworld Corp.

“More tourists mean more workers, which mean more housing and land to be allocated; more solid waste to dispose of; more power and water supply needed; and more sewage to process,” NABBSI stressed.

“We strongly believe that the issues need to be dealt with before allowing more developments to sprout,” NABBSI emphasized.

The group gave a copy of their position paper to the Malay Town Council.