Megaworld is set to continue with the casino project in Boracay Island after President Rodrigo Duterte took back his earlier statement regarding the operation of casinos on the Island.
Billionaire Andrew Tan owner of the real-estate company Megaworld confirmed this with a statement saying, "we will proceed with our casino project in Boracay Newcoast. We already have several hotels there and we are still building more."
The company also ensured that the project "will adhere to all government environmental policies," and said that it "remains committed to the protection of the environment in the island."
Since around 60 percent of the entire 150-hectare estate "is dedicated to green and open spaces," the company added that from the start of its establishment around ten years ago, it has "proactively implementing green initiatives and programs."
According to the report by ABS-CBN, the company points out that they've been using solar-powered and LED street lamps and e-jeepneys, installing detention and siltation tanks, and putting up its own material recovery facility.
The company also complies with the 25+5 meter 'No Build' rule in the beach area and has built its own sewage treatment plant.
Tan stated his group is "hopeful that the tourism industry in this island will recover fast after the pandemic."
The same year when Duterte issued the order to ban casinos in Boracay, he closed down the Island to clean it up for six months.
Due to the dwindling funds of the government caused by the pandemic, Duterte changed his mind and lifted the casino ban on the Island.
The proposal for the Galaxy's casino costs $500 million back when Duterte first rejected it in 2018. That is equivalent to nearly P25 billion at today's exchange rate.
(Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News)