Palace: Duterte OKs operation of a casino in Boracay, wants health protocols followed

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 28 2021 06:18 PM | Updated as of Aug 28 2021 07:57 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a national address at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on Aug. 26, 2021.King Rodriguez, Presidential Photo/File 
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a national address at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on Aug. 26, 2021. King Rodriguez, Presidential Photo/File 

MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the operation of a casino in tourism hub Boracay, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement Saturday. 

Casinos did not operate on the island prior to the order, the statement added.

"This latest presidential pronouncement is part of the revenue-generating efforts of the government to augment funds for COVID-19 response," Roque said. 

Roque said casino-goers must comply with health protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, and casinos in Boracay should also have safeguards that will keep minors out. 

On Thursday, Duterte said he would allow a casino to built in Boracay to generate funds to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Patawarin na po ninyo ako for the contradiction," he said in a late night address. "Ngayon po wala tayong pera. Kung saan man tayo makakuha ng pera, kukunin ko. Kung diyan sa gambling, so be it." 

(Forgive me for the contradiction. We don't have money now. Where we can get money, I will get it. If it will be from gambling, so be it.)

"Ngayon kung nagkamali ako, tama 'yan nagkamali ako. Kung wala akong isang salita diyan, tama 'yan, wala akong isang salita diyan. Pero kailangan ko ng pera para patakbuhin ang gobyerno kasi marami akong gagastusan."

(If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong. If I didn't keep my word, that's right I didn't. But I need money to run the government because I'm going to have a lot of expenses.) 

— With reports from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News and Reuters