Despite opposition from the Catholic bishop, several business groups in Legazpi City in the Philippines have endorsed a casino to be built in the city. The Albay Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Inc. (AFCCCI) and the Legazpi City Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry sent a letter to the city’s mayor, Noel Rosal, expressing the opinion that a casino would increase tourism, create jobs and add tax revenue in a difficult time.
“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 places in the region with the majestic Mayon Volcano as the crème,” said Vergilio Yu, AFCCCI president.
Yu says the addition of a casino will generate more business in the port city.
“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 endorsement comes in the face of opposition from Bishop Lucilo Quiambao of the Diocese of Legazpi, who said a casino would increase social ills and affect the “moral fiber” of the community.
Yu, however, said the region must continue to develop, as it is with a plan for expanded “eco-tourism.”
“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,” said Yu.