Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said the fire and shooting incident at the Resorts World Hotel casino in Pasay City early on Friday, resulting in the death of dozens of people including the lone gunman, is not likely to hamper the flow of investment into the country but may have a temporary dampening effect on tourism.
“I think there are lessons to be learned there, particularly in desiring public places like hotels. We’re very sad about it…. Maybe there will be some questions about tourism coming in,” Dominguez told Department of Finance (DoF) reporters on Friday.
“Maybe we’ll have a little dip. But overall, regarding business and investment, this recent event won’t have an effect,” he added.
The attack on Resorts World Manila by the still unidentified gunman who set the second-floor casino on fire before killing himself had been ruled out as a terrorist act by police authorities.
They said it was a deranged man’s robbery attempt gone wrong, based on CCTV images they said showed him shooting at the door of a stock room, where he found gambling chips and took some worth about P113 million.
He then disappeared into the smoke that billowed around him as he fled.
His charred body was later found lying in bed in one of the rooms on the fifth floor. Thirty-six more bodies were later recovered from the burnt floors of the establishment, while 54 other victims of the fire suffered minor injuries, 18 of them taken to hospital for treatment.
The fire has been contained but the hotel remains locked down for security, police authorities said. Temporary help desks for relatives of missing hotel guests and employees have been set up outside a next-door hotel.
“The police acted very well,” Dominguez said. “They secured the area. They put out the fire. Unfortunately it was too late because the smoke inhalation killed over 30 people. That’s really very sad.”