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Church Officials Oppose Casino Plans in Boracay, Philippines

On May 27th, 2008, Church officials again rejected a plan to construct a casino at the exclusive Fairways and Bluewaters resorts on the northern area of Boracay Island, the Philippines' top tourist destination. Kalibo, Aklan Bishop Jose Romeo Lazo said that casino supporters recently met with the officials of the diocese and the members of the clergy to ask for their support, almost 5 years after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo decided to stop a similar casino plan.

Bishop Lazo said that the position of the Catholic Church against any form of gambling and vice as stated by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is very clear and concise. Any plans to construct a casino establishment in the country like in Kalibo, Aklan will be opposed. Lazo commented that the parish pastoral councils of Malay and Boracay also held the same beliefs regarding the casino facility.

He has told the parishes to remain alert and show their opposition to the casino plan. Bishop Lazo commented that the island of Boracay is very important to the residents in the area and they want to keep the island a family-oriented tourist decision. The Church was one of the most active opponents of the casino plan like the Small Town lottery that the government planned to open in the area last year.

The provincial board stopped the Small Town Lottery plans because of the protests. The plan to construct a casino in Boracay was also supported by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation(PAGCOR) in 2003. Tourism officials said that the casino can help provide jobs for the residents of Boracay Island. PAGCOR set aside the casino plans on August 31st, 2008, 2 weeks after President Arroyo said that she does not approve of the casino plan on the Island.


- 06/05/2008 03:04 PM


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