Oro councilor says casino to generate jobs

CAGAYAN de Oro City Councilor Zaldy Ocon said the proposed casino construction will not only give higher revenue to the city but will also generate hundreds of jobs for unemployed Kagay-anons.

But Ocon said before the City Council decides, a public hearing will be conducted this Friday, February 17, in which the Roman Catholic Church, Iglesia ni Cristo, Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Born Again, as well as the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-CDO/MisOr Chapter, City Legal Office, and the proponent Limketkai Sons Incorporated are expected to participate.

The councilor said all will be given time to explain their position and that due process will be followed.

Ocon, being the committee chairperson on games and amusements, refused to state his stand on the matter citing the need for neutrality.

"As committee chairman, I cannot divulge my stand, mahimo na unya ug wala nay lami. Ang ako lang nga ako lang ang mo-guide sa ila, nakalaum ang katawhan sa Cagayan de Oro nga wala kitay paboran, naa ta sa tunga, ug paninguhaon nato nga objective gyud atong hearing (it won't turn out good. On my part, I have to guide them. People of Cagayan de Oro expect us to be neutral and we will be objective in the hearing as much as possible)," Ocon said.

Limketkai is the second company which expressed their interest to build a casino in the city.

In 2008, Korean hotel and leisure firm I.F. Koresco Corp. also planned to put up a $20-million casino-hotel in the city but the plan did not materialize following opposition from different groups.

Limketkai Sons Inc. is planning to put up a casino within its commercial complex.

The proposed casino will occupy 5,377.22 square meters next to the Limketkai Luxe Hotel.

In its letter, Limketkai is asking a resolution from the City Council, “expressing support and no objection to the project.”

Earlier, different churches expressed their objection to the planned casino, with the Catholic Church announcing that it will no longer hold masses inside the Limketkai Mall if the casino is built.

The IFI had also characterized the planned casino as a "social menace."

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