Press Release
March 27, 2018

Koko says casino builders should consult host community

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Tuesday said that casinos should be built only after hearing the sentiments of the host community, as expressed through a resolution of the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan of the host local government unit (LGU).

Pimentel made the statement in response to the growing opposition to the plan to build a $500-million casino in the island of Boracay.

"Let us adopt the spirit of Federalism - let the people take part in the decision if a casino should be built in their locality", said Pimentel.

The Senate President said that casinos bring advantages and disadvantages to a community, and those affected must have a voice in the decision-making process.

Pimentel said, "Federalism is about empowering the people by involving them in the decision-making process. Even if the shift to Federalism has not happened yet, there is no legal impediment to adopting the principle of consultation."

Federalism is one of the core tenets of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), the country's ruling party of which Pimentel is the President and President Rodrigo Duterte is Chairman.

For LGUs which might play host to casinos, Pimentel said, "I urge the councils of LGUs - let your people be heard. Consult them, pass a resolution reflecting their concerns, and present the result to PAGCOR and would-be investors."

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