Sen. Binay thumbs down Boracay casino project, bats for other fund sources
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay on Friday voiced her opposition to the possible establishment of a casino in Boracay Island which President Rodrigo Duterte is now endorsing in a bid to generate more funds for the government.
“As chair of the committee on tourism, siyempre I am totally against na ibalik ang gambling sa Boracay. Hindi ‘yun ‘yung type of tourists that we want in Boracay,” Binay said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.
Binay said there could be other sources of funds instead of gambling.
“I am hoping na hindi matuloy ‘yung ganyang plano na papasukin ang gambling sa Boracay. There are other ways to raise revenue and alam naman natin na ang Boracay is crown jewel ‘yan ng ating tourism and sayang naman yung the way the island was brought back kung papayagan natin itong gambling,” she noted.
(I am hoping that this plan of having gambling back in Boracay will not push through. There are other ways to raise revenue and we know that Boracay is the crown jewel of our tourism industry. The way the island was brought back to operations will be wasted if we allow gambling.)
“May ibang pwede naman pagkunan ng pera. But more than that for me is how you spend. Kahit gaano kalaki ‘yung revenue, if we are not spending it right, if we are not spending it properly, sayang lang din ang pondo,” she noted.
Binay made the remark after the Commission on Audit (COA) recently flagged deficiencies in Department of Health’s handling and management of its P67.32-billion fund to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
COA said these deficiencies led to missed opportunities for the department primarily tasked with managing the pandemic.
Binay also wonders who suggested to the President the idea of establishing a casino in the tourist spot.
“Siguro we can ask the Department of Finance (DOF) or even NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) kung ano ba talaga ang nakikita niyong source of revenue at bakit kailangan ibalik itong gambling sa boracay,” said the senator.
(That is something we can look at. Maybe we can ask the DOF and NEDA on what they see as sources of revenue and why we need to have gambling again in Boracay.)
“I am also wondering who advised the President na option ‘yung pagbalik ng gambling sa Boracay. I don’t think ‘yung income na makukuha sa gambling sa Boracay would be sufficient revenue para magamit ng government,” she added.
(I am also wondering who advised the President that it is an option to have gambling back in Boracay. I don’t think the income we will get from this would be sufficient revenue for the government.)
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