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Guard against foreign takeover of Boracay

/ 05:10 AM March 15, 2018

Amid the government’s move to shut down resorts in Boracay, including small and locally operated establishments, we fisherfolk under the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) warn the government against foreign takeover of one of the country’s top tourist islands.

In December last year, it was reported that a Macau-based casino-resort operator plans to construct a $500-million integrated project there.

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While the Duterte administration is promulgating to rehabilitate Boracay through shutting down and regulating resort structures, there is a giant developer company in China that wants to convert the island into a Macau-style casino.

Based on news reports, Galaxy Entertainment and local partner Leisure & Resorts World Corp. are seeking regulatory approval for the $300-$500 million casino project.

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President Duterte has threatened to close the island to make way for rehabilitation, but even though the government has yet to admit the real score behind the shutdown, we are not incognizant to the fact that some giant developers might take over and monopolize the resorts to rake profit at the expense of our local businesses and patrimonial rights.

Shutting down small-time beach resorts in Boracay as entry-point for foreign casinos is anti-Filipino, gross puppetry, and total sellout not only of our national patrimony but even our beautiful tourist destinations.

President Duterte’s posturing to rehabilitate Boracay is absurd as he literally surrendered our marine resources and allowed environmental destruction brought about by his defeatism to reclamation and occupation of China in the West Philippine Sea, as well as the massive reclamation projects in our coastal waters.

We recognize that the issue of environmental protection of Boracay is urgent, but it should not be used as a facade to facilitate the entry of foreign monopoly resort corporations.

FERNANDO HICAP, National Chair, Pamalakaya-Pilipinas, [email protected]

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TAGS: Boracay cleanup, Fernando Hicap, Inquirer letters, Philippine Tourism
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