Bishop opposes casinos in Boracay

Published September 19, 2021, 2:53 PM

by Analou de Vera

Tourists and locals enjoy the white-sand beach of Boracay Island as travel restrictions have been eased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Tara Yap / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Kalibo Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc expressed his objection to the decision of the government to allow the operations of casinos in Boracay island.

“Ako po ay umaapela sa Pangulo ng ating Republika na huwag niyang hayaan na maging pasugalan ang Isla ng Boracay (I appeal to the President of our Republic not to allow Boracay island to be a place for gambling),” said Tala-oc in a pastoral letter.

“I also appeal to our leaders in the province not to allow gambling casino that will destroy our cherished island,” he added.

Tala-oc said that such activities will create a culture of gambling.

“Gambling promotes not only indolence but also dependence, contrary to the work and industry for people to earn their living and contribute to the economic development of their community,” he said.

“Gambling progressively creates first the habit, then the vice, and ultimately the addiction to the game of chance. This gradual takeover of the human psyche by gambling is a big personal liability that can become no less than a socio-affective disorder,” he added.

The prelate also emphasized that gambling will “slowly weaken and eventually destroy the moral fiber of the people.”

Boracay has much to offer

Tala-oc said that the famous island is “God’s gift to Aklan and to the whole world.”

“It has become a family destination, a venue for educational advancement and entrepreneurship,” he said.

“It offers a wider avenue for employment, (a) good source of livelihood for our people and revenues for the government. There is so much that Boracay island can offer because it is already a paradise,” he added.

The prelate urged the residents of Aklan to protect Boracay.

“We Aklanons, have the responsibility to take care and protect Boracay. We earnestly pray that the Lord who entrusted this island for us will continue to grant us more blessings,” said Tala-oc.

“I also call on all our priests in the Diocese of Kalibo, with our parish pastoral councils, lay organizations, movements, associations, and societies to form discerning groups and say ‘No to Gambling Casino, No to Gambling in Boracay,’” he added.