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Eduardo Año, secretary of the interior and local government in the Philippines, has told CNN Philippines. that he does not agree with proposals to build a casino on the island of Boracay.

Speaking to the news channel’s On the Record programme on Wednesday, Año offered his personal view on the plans put forward by the Leisure & Resorts World Corporation and Galaxy Entertainment Group joint venture

“I do not think that the casino should be placed there,” he said, adding that having visited similar sites in other countries he hopes one is not constructed in Boracay.

The development of the 23-hectare site includes a plan to temporarily close the famous tourist destination, with a closure period of up to six months being mooted.

Año said the interagency task force created to rehabilitate Boracay was not consulted about the issue.

“Yes I agree I think the timing is not right or is not correct. We were not consulted with that,” he said.

The Philippines tourism board, the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, is continuing to contest the plans for a full closure, arguing instead for phased closures that would enable Borocay to keep functioning as a tourist destination during the work.

Año agreed stressing that the island will need time for “natural healing” after the work is completed. He said: “Everyone is making a sacrifice. I think everyone should own the responsibility and if we can do it in six months, why not? If we can do it in just two months, then why not?”

He said the recommendation (for the scheme to proceed) had been passed to Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte’s office but that final approval was still awaited.