There has been talk of a large resort with casino on the idyllic island of Boracay for months, but now it appears that there is no casino at all. President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Monday that he does not want to open the island to casino operators, but wants to give it back to the farmers. In his own words, he never intended to approve the plan to build a casino resort.
According to the law, a forest and agricultural site
Duterte has not just decided that Boracay should once again become an island of the farmers. He claims that this is stated in the law. And indeed, in 2008, the Supreme Court decided that Boracay is an island with forest and agricultural land. Of course, the island does not have to be used as a forest and agricultural site if the owner of Boracay wishes otherwise, but the government is the owner of the island. And the government now wants to give the island back to the farmers, according to the president “the people who need it most.”
Boracay closed for six months
Before the farmers on Boracay indeed get the island back, the entire island will first be closed for six months. This is because, according to President Duterte, Boracay would be a “cesspit” due to the many tourists who have been on the beautiful island in recent years. To restore nature, no one is allowed on the island for six months. This period already starts on April 26 this year.
No casinos on Boracay
The president has now explicitly indicated that he does not want to build casinos on the island. He said he had nothing against casinos, but simply to find that there are enough casinos in the world. “There are enough, too many. Casinos here, casinos there … “, said the president.
Yet it is strange that Duterte has suddenly changed his mind. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp has already issued a temporary permit to Galaxy Entertainment Group's large resort with casino that wants to establish itself on the island. What will happen with this permit is unknown.