The firms behind controversial plans to build a $500-million mega-casino on Boracay island insist that the scheme remains on track.
Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd and local partner Leisure and Resorts World Corp (LRWC) have indicated that the proposal has not been affected by the closure of the island.
“The plan has not been delayed by the closure of the island,” LRWC vice president for legal affairs Katrina Nepomuceno said at the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting in Pasay City today (Friday, July 27).
“We are not really affected by the island’s closure because we were able to finish what we need to do prior to the closing,” she added.
The firm has already purchased a 23-hectare site in Barangay Manoc-Manoc, before the island was closed to tourists on April 26 for ‘environmental rehabilitation’.
“Basically, right now we’ve been working on the initial plans for the resort development. So continuously we’ve been discussing with Galaxy Entertainment Group, with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and other government agencies,” she said.
LRWC is also working closely with the Boracay task force to get progress updates on rehabilitation works.
“We would like to make that our plans be compliant with all the environmental requirements of the government,” Nepomuceno said.
Although no date has been revealed for construction to begin, Nepomuceno there had been no change to the original target to open the resort in 2021.
Despite repeated opposition to the casino plan by President Duterte, LRWC remains confident that the project will come to fruition.
Nepomuceno said: “Where am I getting the confidence? Because the president has also said he wants to maintain Boracay as a prime tourist destination. The fact remains there is a property and our partner has a licence.
“We are still partners with them, we are continuously talking and discussing together with them and drawing plans moving forward.”
As we reported in March, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. issued a provisional gaming licence to Boracay Philippines Resort and Leisure Corp, a subsidiary formed by LRWC and Galaxy for the project.
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