Senate committee probes plan to build casino resort in Boracay


THE Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources will hold another hearing on Boracay and a plan to build a $500-million integrated casino resort on the island by a Macau-based company.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) on Wednesday release a provisional license to Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. and its local partner Leisure & Resorts World Corp. to operate a mega-casino in world famous tourist destination.

Pagcor issued the license despite the planned closure of the island to give way to its rehabilitation and clean up following a serious deterioration in its environment because of its alleged over development.

Sen. Nancy Binay said the environment committee headed by Sen. Cynthia Villar will be calling for another hearing that would focus on the impact of the new establishment in the island.

The committee will particularly ask the position of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) on the construction of the mega-casino.

“The environment department should closely study the plans and the impact of another large-scale infrastructure on the island’s land use and environment,” Binay added.

The DENR, DoT and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) proposed a six-month closure of Boracay to local and foreign tourists beginning April 26. JEFF ANTIPORDA



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