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Businesses in Albay endorse casino operation

Friday, August 21, 2009 [ manilatimes.net ]

By Rhaydz B. Barcia, Correspondent

LEGAZPI CITY: The opposition of the Diocese of Legazpi against the proposed casino is in vain after the Albay Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Inc. (AFCCCI) and the Legazpi City Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry strongly endorsed the operation to boost the economy as well as tourism industry. In a letter sent by Vergilio Yu, AFCCCI president to the office of Sangguniang Panglungsod and to Mayor Noel Rosal, he said that the AFCCCI favorably endorsed the proposed operation of casino by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) in the Embarcadero de Legazpi to generate more income, employment and attracts wealthy tourists to stay longer besides visiting various tourist destinations.

“With the tourism commerce being ranked at top as income-producing industry, it is with great pride that we regard the city of Legazpi not far behind as one of the country’s most visited place in the region with the majestic Mayon Volcano as the crème,” Yu said.

“Yet we need to settle not just to what is present but continuously strive to be better in terms of places, services, and activities which we can offer to the visiting patron,” he continued in its endorsement letter.

Relevant to the endorsement according to Yu, the consortium finds the project practical and a great venue for progress. He said that it would create activity for the region and employment to the locals.

“Investments will pour in, if we will be able to align things accordingly, the government will have more than the required collections for permits, taxes and licenses. More projects that can be financed by the local office will compensate the cost of living,” Yu said.

The group also stressed that casino operation will also regulate all games of change and will raise funds for the government’s socio-civic and national development efforts and to help boost the country’s tourism industry.

“Because of this, we humbly request from your office [Mayor Rosal] for a positive repost in this endorsement by becoming a partner in the promotion of burgeoning tourist destinations in Legazpi,” Yu also added.

Earlier, Bishop Lucilo Quiambao of the Diocese of Legazpi contested the proposed casino operation as it might create social ills and affect the moral fiber of the community.

The proposed casino operation will be put up within the P1-billion Embarcadero mega structure project in the panoramic boulevard of the city.

The gambling according to Quiambao is not a solution to economic problems he instead push a proactive programs that will not destroy the moral fiber of the localities.

The Embarcadero mega structure eco-tourism project is being constructed by the Sunwest Group of Companies headed by Bicolano business tycoon Elizaldy Co along the Legazpi City Boulevard in front of Legazpi Port.

The project is a world-class waterfront commercial complex and recreation hub being developed by Co’s company. Its construction commenced shortly after super Typhoon Reming battered Bicol in 2006.

This project is being developed within the Kapuntukan Hill, or the Sleeping Lion Hill, with the higher peak resembling a lion’s hunched shoulders, a few kilometers away from the busy port of Legazpi.

Ruben Yu, chairman of Legazpi Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry also strongly endorsed the proposed casino operation because of positive developments that could bring should Rosal approve the casino operation.

Two weeks ago, the Sangguniang Panglungsod conducted the public hearing over the proposed casino operation where majority of the participants who attended welcomed the creation of a casino at the Embarcadero de Legazpi.

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