The Cebu City Council has approved a resolution endorsing to Pagcor an application by Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc to build an integrated resort on Kawit Island.
As reported by a number of local Philippine media outlets, councilers voted in favor of endorsing the project by a margin of 7-5 after Universal President Frederick Go sent a letter requesting the issuance of a “resolution of no objection.” The plan calls for the development and operation of a world-class integrated resort including a casino, 1,000 hotel rooms, a convention center, restaurants and more.
Go is also linked to the real estate arm of JG Summit Holdings, which last week pledged to invest Php18 billion (US$356 million) in the proposed IR.
“The Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc intends to contribute in making Cebu City as the newest tourism destination in the country by developing and operating a Pagcor-accredited and world-class integrated resort and casino facility,” the council measure reads.
If approved, the plan would see JG Summit Holdings lease the eight-hectare site for 50 years, with the city to receive a 10 to 15% share of sales once the development is complete.
However, a number of council members voiced their opposition to the measure, with Raymond Alvin Garcia stating, “We’re being presumptuous. We’re giving authority to them as if Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc is the winning bidder of the project even if their unsolicited proposal will still have to go through Swiss Challenge. It’s like we’re doing them a favor without even going through the whole process first.”