MANILA - Several members of President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet who are heading the clean-up of Boracay have asked regulators to disallow the operation of any casino in the holiday island ahead of its reopening.
Duterte earlier said that Boracay should be casino-free when it opens. He added that he will give government-owned lands in the island to farmers.
Citing this directive from the President, the heads of the Boracay inter-agency rehabilitation task force asked Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) Chairperson Andrea Domingo in a letter to cancel any and all gaming franchise and provisional license in the island.
The letter was signed by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
Macau casino giant Galaxy Entertainment and its Filipino partner, Leisure and Resorts World Corp, are set to build a $500 million integrated resort in Boracay. They signed a provisional license with Pagcor in March.
Boracay was shuttered to tourists last April 26 to give way to the rehabilitation of its sewage system and the removal of illegal structures. It will reopen on Friday.
More details to follow.