Razon denies plan to use proposed mega vaccination site to expand casino-resort business

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2021 02:37 PM

The Bagong Nayong Pilipino and Solaire-PAGCOR mega quarantine facility entrance along Seaside Boulevard in Pasay City on May 11, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News


MANILA - Billionaire Enrique Razon on Thursday belied allegations that he plans to use the proposed mega vaccination site in Parañaque City to expand Solaire, his resort and casino business.

Razon’s International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) Foundation has secured government approval to build an 8 to 10-hectare mega-vaccination facility, which incidentally is located near Solaire and several other casino-resorts in the capital region.

"We already have a Solaire. We are building another one in Quezon City, not here," Razon told ANC's Headstart when asked if he plans to use a portion of the mega vaccination site to expand Solaire.

The government owns the land and businesses cannot just build any facility there without an agreement, he said.

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It was the national government who recommended that the mega vaccination facility be built on a vacant portion of Nayong Pilipino, he said.

"I wrote [Tourism] Sec. [Berna] Romulo Puyat and she endorsed it to Nayong Pilipino Foundation," he said.

"That's when they pointed out to us on which part to use," he said.

The location is perfect for the vaccination hub because it is close to several main thoroughfares such as Roxas Boulevard and SkyWay, the port magnate said.

"This site is perfect for what we plan. It's connected to the SkyWay so it's very easy for the people to come," he said.

"There's a lot of empty land so there is no pedestrian traffic," he said.

While the mega vaccination site can accommodate up to 10,000 people daily, the government should put up more vaccination facilities, Razon said.

"Herd immunity doesn't fall out from the sky. You have to do it. At this rate it is impossible. It would take years," he said.

"We cannot survive with just one site. Luneta should be used. PICC should be used. Araneta Coliseum should be used," he said.

The Philippines hopes to vaccinate between 50 million and 70 million people by the end of the year to achieve herd immunity, but as of this week, only 500,000 Filipinos have received 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Some 2 million others have received the first jab.