Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc of Kalibo is rallying against the planned casinos in the world-renowned island, and is encouraging his fellow Aklanons to do the same.
In a statement that was read in all parishes of the diocese, the bishop said that he is calling on the president to halt these casino plans. “Ako po ay umaapela sa Pangulo ng ating Republika na huwag niyang hayaan na maging pasugalan ang Isla ng Boracay,” it read.
“Boracay is God’s gift to Aklan and to the whole world. It has become a family destination, a venue for educational advancement and entrepreneurship,” they added. The bishop said that the island has provided livelihood to people living in the area and has given employment to many through the tourism industry. (Read: ‘1Godly Vote’ Voters’ Education Campaign Launched By Manila Archdiocese)
Gambling promotes indolence and dependence
“Why do we need to put up a gambling casino? Gambling is a game of chance which foments a culture of contrary to the demands of sound reason,” Bishop Tala-oc explained. He further said that gambling promotes indolence and dependence, “contrary to the work and industry for people to earn their living and contribute to the economic development of their community.”
The bishop then called on their local government officials to prevent their cherished land from being destroyed by these corporations. He also called on all priests of the diocese, lay organizations, and other groups to also push for the “No to Gambling Casino, No to Gambling in Boracay” campaign.
“We, Aklanons, have the responsibility to take care and protect Boracay,” Bishop Tala-oc said.
Earlier in September, news outlets reported that the plans of building a casino in Boracay have been revived. In a report by Philippine Star, it was said that the plans were previously called off because President Rodrigo Duterte said he was against gambling. However, a few years later, the president has taken back his decision and cited lack of funds as the reason for pushing through with the casinos in Boracay.
“Patawarin na po ninyo ako for the contradiction. Ngayon po wala tayong pera. Kung saan man tayo makakuha ng pera, kukunin ko. Kung diyan sa gambling, so be it,” Duterte said. “Ngayon, kung nagkamali ako, tama ‘yan, nagkamali ako. Kung wala akong isang salita diyan, tama ‘yan, wala akong isang salita diyan. Pero kailangan ko ng pera para patakbuhin ang gobyerno kasi marami akong gagastusan.” (Read: South Cotabato Diocese Launches Signature Campaign Against Open-Pit Mining)