PHOTO CAPTION: Kalibo Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc is unambiguously opposed to the operation of a casino in Boracay, calling it a “liability and disorder”./iNEWS
KALIBO, Aklan–A Catholic bishop in the province of Aklan has vowed to sustain the fight against illegal gambling and urged the faithful in his diocese to be wary of the long-range implications of casinos.
Kalibo Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc issued the call on September 17, 2021, in his pastoral letter.
Tala-oc’s call came in response to the plans of President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the operations of a casino in Boracay Island. The announcement last month by Duterte also prompted Boracay folk and church leaders to oppose the re-opening of casinos.
Taal-oc explained that Boracay Island—“God’s gift to Aklan and the whole world”—has become a family destination and a venue for educational advancement, entrepreneurship, and employment; overall, a good source of revenue and livelihood for the government and the people.
“There is already so much that Boracay can offer because it is paradise, so why do we need to put up a casino?” he said.
“Gambling,” the Bishop said, “progressively creates the habit first, then the vice, and ultimately the addiction to the game of chance. This gradual takeover of the human psyche by gambling is a big personal liability that becomes no less than a socio-affective disorder; it will slowly weaken and eventually destroy the moral fiber of the people.”
Taal-oc also rallied all the priests in the Diocese of Kalibo to join him in opposing the casino.
“I encourage parish pastoral councils, lay organizations, movements, associations, and societies to form discerning groups to expose the potential harm of addictive gambling to the general welfare of the people.”
To note, banners and signs expressing opposition to the casino are now visible along the roads and highways in Boracay Island and mainland Aklan. (Boy Ryan Zabal/iNEWS-Aklan/Boracay Bureau)