Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Relocate casino, not the trees

Officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) should not allow even one tree at the proposed site of the Ocean 9 Casino Resort and Hotel to be cut. They should consider other sites for the project—like the mothballed Grand Legenda Hotel, which has been lying idle for 10 years now, its steel structure collecting rust and posing a hazard to locators nearby. There are also the Cubi and Boton points that offer a full view of the sea, if that’s what the investor wants.

The SBMA should preserve the former mini-golf course and convert it into a park which should balance the rapid commercialization of the Waterfront Road strip. In short, the planner should consider creating an oasis in the midst of a concrete jungle which the strip is fast turning into. No amount of human effort can replace what nature has provided and nurtured for so many decades.

The more than 300 trees said to be at risk, diseased or not, are sacred. The proposed “balling” or “relocation” will not work. These terms are just euphemisms for “cut” and “dispose.” The justification to reforest eight hectares to compensate for the trees sounds too fantastic. Can the SBMA mention a specific reforestation project inside the Subic Bay area, which had been implemented successfully?

The trees that are meant to be sacrificed for a hotel and casino project are already there. Why risk with a reforestation program nobody can guarantee will succeed?

SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga and Administrator Armand Arreza will no longer be there to see the reforestation through. And by that time, more trees could be cut in other areas. The $120-million investment of the Korean group is important but it could not pay for the destruction of nature.

The incumbent officials of the SBMA should not exchange the few left of our natural resources for foreign investment. Losing the $120-million investment now is not the end of the world. It could be replaced tomorrow by a $240-million investment or even more. Salonga and Arreza should make a conscientious stand now. They shouldn’t allow the cutting of the trees.

BRANDO NAZARIO, Sta. Rita, Olongapo

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1 Comments:

  • INDEED IT SHOULD BE THE CASINO THAT MUST BE RELOCATED.

    WE SUPPORT FAMILY TOURISM INDUSTRY THAT PROVIDES BETTER INCOME FROM TOURISTS. WHAT WE NEED ARE MORE THEME PARKS SIMILAR TO DISNEY SEA, NIGHT SAFARI, INTERNATIONAL SPORTS VENUE, ETC. THAT COMPLIMENTS VERY WELL WITH THE SUBIC ENVIRONMENT.

    WHAT WILL BECOME OF SUBIC WITHOUT THE FORESTS AND CLEAN BAY BUT WITH MANY CASINOS AND GOLF COURSES? A PROMINENT POLITICIAN ONCE SAID THAT SUBIC WILL BE THE LAS VEGAS OF THE PHILIPPINES. DO WE NEED SUCH ? AFTER OCEAN WHAT NEXT ? alex hermoso

    By Anonymous alex hermoso, at 1/15/2009 2:17 PM  

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