Tell it to SunStar: Boracay casinos

WE decry the recent statements of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) that it would allow Macau gambling kingpin Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. to push through with the construction of a casino, one of two pending, in Boracay. It smacks of hypocrisy if not duplicity to sensationalize the crackdown of tourism establishments aggravating ecological carrying capacities on one hand, then allow large-scale entertainment facilities on the other.

Foreign big business trump environmental and people’s interests once again. The bombastic pronouncement of Rodrigo Duterte to blow up erring establishments is thus hypocritical, especially in the context of clearing the beaches only to eliminate competition from Chinese business and capital investments whose entry here his regime facilitated.

Local government data shows there are an average of 781 visitors per day in Boracay over the past six years. Historical data from the Department of Tourism indicates that there were 345 daily visitors over 20 years ago. A 1998 study made by Tourism scholar William Trousdale indicates that even with that number of visitors in those years, the island has already been loaded with garbage pollution, e-coli contamination, and water depletion. Almost ten years ago, the DENR has been calling for a “tourism limit.”

Two more mega casinos are clearly two steps backward from the initial tourism crackdown. Just imagine what would happen to the island if the 781 average number of visitors per day is increased by another 4,224 visitors per day, twice the average number of visitors an individual casino in Macau receives in a day. The average rate of 345 visitors per day has been shown to be detrimental, what more with the influx of tourist-gamblers should this push through?

The Duterte regime, especially its environment and tourism agencies, should go beyond its “papogi” crackdown and ensure that the development of tourism hubs especially within critical ecosystems is sensitive to local ecological boundaries, cultural development, and local community development. We reiterate our call on the Duterte government to strictly enforce a moratorium on new tourism construction projects and issuance of business permits, including this planned casino.--Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment

The matter of divorce

Divorce is good only if you are married, but most women that have children are not married but have live-in partners.

What we really need here in the Philippines is a law that will make every man be responsible for the children that he fathered. Beggars and street children exist because Filipino men only know how to breed and not be responsible.--Alfredo Acopan
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