Diocese of Kalibo Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc has made an appeal to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to put a stop to the national government’s plans that permit the establishment of casinos on Boracay Island.
The Kalibo Bishop claims the island to be a gift from God, and that the people are responsible to “take care of and protect Boracay.” He also argues gambling in the area would have a negative impact on the residents.
“This gradual takeover of the human psyche by gambling is a big personal liability that can become no less than a socio-affective disorder. It will slowly weaken and eventually destroy the moral fibre of the people.
“But why do we need to put up a gambling casino? Gambling is a game of chance which foments a culture contrary to the demands of sound reason. I am appealing to the President of the Republic not to allow casino operations on Boracay Island.”
President Duterte believes the funds brought in by gambling are important and of necessity for the government, which is why he decided to lift the ban on casinos from 2018. The Newcoast casino is expected to generate around 10,000 jobs, bring in up to 3,000 foreign tourists weekly and help further the development of the island.
Despite the President’s decision, Tala-oc is not the first person to stand against the new resort; residents, local businessmen and environmental activists have also been opposing the establishment of casinos in Boracay, fearing the construction would have a negative impact on the environment.