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DOT official clarifies status of Miss Universe hosting, casino in Boracay

A sand sculpture is seen in front of a restaurant along a beach at Boracay, Philippines April 9, 2018. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

The Miss Universe Organization continues to communicate with the Department of Tourism on the possibility of having the Miss Universe pageant in Boracay.

According to DOT Asec. Ricky Alegre, they are open to hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Boracay but will still need the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Open naman ang DOT, pero lahat naman nito magiging desisyon ni Presidente Duterte.” Alegre said during DZRH’s One On One. “Magandang idea rin kasi para sa Boracay kung dito gagawin ang Miss Universe.”

During a press briefing last April 14, DOT Sec. Wanda Teo revealed that Duterte raised the possibility of bringing the international pageant in the known tourist destination following its six-month closure to tourists starting April 26.

Meanwhile, Alegre said that they were informed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) that Galaxy Entertainment Group is looking a different venue for their hotel-casino.

The establishment was initially planned to be built in Boracay, but the President declared that no casino will be placed in the island.

“Sinabihan kami ng PAGCOR na naghahanap na ng ibang venue or ng ibang area yung Galaxy outside of Boracay dahil sa maliwanag na pahayag ni President Duterte.” Alegre explained.

Alegre added that the inter-agency task force on Boracay is pleased with this news, and hopes that the statement of Duterte will end rumors that the six-month closure of the island is going to be enforced in order to give way to the building of the casino.

The Tourism official also added that Galaxy Entertainment Group has not yet applied for accreditation of the said casino and that PAGCOR believes that the casino will be finished during a new administration.

“Sinabi na sa amin ng PAGCOR  baka hindi magawa iyan within the next four or five years at baka bago na yung administration bago magawa iyan.” Alegre added.

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