International edition
June 12, 2021

The project is expected to attract 10 million foreign visitors in five years

Philippines: Pagcor sets bidding for a us$ 10-billion gaming complex

(Philippines).- The state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) will hold the first pre-bid conference for the proposed us$ 10-billion Entertainment City project in Manila in two weeks.

The terms and conditions governing this undertaking shall be announced and discussed during the pre-bid conference,” PAGCOR chairman and CEO Efraim Genuino said in a press statement. The Las Vegas-style gaming and entertainment complex is set to rise on the reclamation area in Manila Bay.

Pagcor said the area is easily accessible from major thoroughfares such as EDSA and Roxas Boulevard. It is also near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), seaports and major commercial and urban centers. “The Entertainment City Manila is our answer to the rapid developments happening in other parts of Asia, particularly Macau and Singapore, as well as in other parts of the world,” Genuino said.

He said the construction of Entertainment City Manila “is in line with President Arroyo's eight-point agenda, which aims to revitalize the tourism industry, in particular, and the Philippine economy.”

The entertainment complex is Genuino's brainchild and it will contain five-star hotels, amusement parks, educational and cultural complexes, shopping malls, a commercial district, a sports stadium, restaurants, convention halls, state-of-the-art theaters, gaming centers, race tracks, residential villages, a hospital district, and other facilities at par with international standards.

Pagcor said the idea for Entertainment City Manila was developed as early as 2001 “but remained in the pipeline for the longest time due to factors, such as the pending expiration of the PAGCOR franchise.However, with the recent passage of House Bill 3409, which extends the life of the corporation for another 25 years, it's all systems go for this colossal project,” he said.

“We are all very excited about getting this project in motion because of the countless benefits it will bring to our country and its people,” he added.

Even before the project's construction begins, the corporation said it may already generate millions of dollars in revenues in the form of advance lease payments from future locators and other investors. During the project's construction, the corporation said the local construction industry will be revitalized because of the requirements of this massive undertaking.

“In the process, hundreds of thousands of local employment opportunities shall be created,” the corporation said. “These do not include the direct benefits the project will bring to other industries, such as transportation, communications, food, hospitality and entertainment,” it added.

Pagcor said Entertainment City Manila “is in the right position to succeed, considering that Asia is a growing market, having the highest population and most affluent citizens.” It also said the Philippines serves as a gateway to Asia and is strategically located a few hours from China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea.

Two opposition lawmakers earlier said they want the House of Representatives' oversight committee to investigate its plan for Entertainment City Manila.

Genuino said the construction of this massive project will be handled by foreign investors. “Our country will not spend for these developments. We are just selling a concept,” he said.

The project is expected to attract 10 million foreign visitors in five years and generate millions of jobs for Filipinos, he said. The corporation has consistently been the third biggest income-generating government agency. Last year, it generated us$ 756.9 million, higher than its 2005 income of us$ 497.4 million.

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