Kalibo bishop opposes casino operations in Boracay

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 19) — Diocese of Kalibo Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc on Sunday appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to halt the national government's plans to permit the establishment of casinos on Boracay Island.

“Ako po ay umaapela sa Pangulo ng ating Republika na huwag niyang hayaan na maging pasugalan ang Isla ng Boracay,” he said in a statement.

[Translation: I am appealing to the President of the Republic not to allow casino operations on Boracay Island.]

Duterte recently lifted the ban on casino operations in the popular tourist destination to generate taxes for the country’s COVID-19 response.

Tala-oc also appealed to the Aklan provincial government and other priests to oppose the establishment of casinos in Boracay.

The Kalibo bishop said that island is a “God’s gift” and gambling in the area will have a negative impact on people.

“But why do we need to put up a gambling casino? Gambling is a game of chance which foments a culture contrary to the demands of sound reason,” said Tala-oc.

He added that the people of Aklan have the responsibility to “take care [of] and protect Boracay.”

“This gradual takeover of the human psyche by gambling is a big personal liability that can become no less than a socio-affective disorder. It will slowly weaken and eventually destroy the moral fiber of the people,” said Tala-oc.

Aklan-based correspondent Carla Doromal and multi-platform news writer Vince Ferreras contributed to this report