Travellers International Hotel Group (TIHG) which is a publicly owned company and owns Resorts World Manila is starting a new hotel casino known as Resorts World Westside City. This particular project will cost the company $1.1 billion. According to David Chua who is TIHG board chairman the company has invested $1.3 billion in Resorts World Manila and an extra $1.1 was set aside for the new project. The chairman was telling this to lawmakers during the hearing on the Resorts World Manila attack which was held yesterday.
Resorts World Manila officers confirmed that 70% of TIHG is currently owned by several Filipino investors with the most prominent investor being Alliance Global’s Andrew Tan who is a billionaire property developer. The rest 30% percent is owned by investors who are foreigners. Chua is also the president of the Genting Hong Kong which is one of the primary investors in Resorts World Manila. Chua further told the lawmakers that they have built 1,934 modern hotel rooms and 1,620 more are to be built. He retaliated that this is in solidarity with the government of The Philippines’ drive to promote different types of tourism.
Chua further said that the company has built The Philippines’ biggest ballroom which is known as the Marrott Hotel grand ballroom. He said this is meant to promote the position of the country as a world wide destination for events, conferences and meetings. He further said that Resorts World Manila had already paid P40 billion for license and other additional takes to the government. He also added that the company currently has six thousand personnel and since 2008 it has created twenty five thousand indirect and direct jobs. He went ahead to remind the lawmakers that after the economical crisis that happened between 2008 and 2009 most foreign investors chose to not invest in The Philippines. The first investor who come together with Alliance Global to construct The Philippines’ first integrated resort was Genting Hong Kong.
The lawmakers on their hand wanted Chua to explain about the inquiry to the 2nd June attack onto the Resorts World Manila. In this attack 37 employees and hotel guests lost their lives when Jessie Carlos who is a former government employee set almost the entire casino on fire. Pantleon Alvarez who is the speaker initially wanted Tan to be summoned but decided Chua is also ideal after learning that Hong Kong national is the one that chair the organisation that currently owns Resorts World Manila. Stephen Reiley who is Resorts World Manila’s chief operating officer and Kingson Sian who is the company’s president are the ones who led various officers from the hotel casino mall complex during the 7 and 14 hearings.
There were lawmakers who wanted to know why their leaders decided to have Chan or Tan in the particular hearings when Sian and Reailer were the ones running the daily operations of Resorts World Manila and therefore were in a better position to answer the questions. In fact, Alvarez was not present during yesterday’s hearings.
Chua further told the lawmakers that he had actually been around since June 11 grieving together with the various families of the people affected by the incident. The lawmakers complained that during the incident there was looting where personal effects of the affected people were missing. A number of relatives of the people who were affected gave their testimonies showing that the looting happened. There was even un-identified policeman who was amongst the first people to arrive at the scene who said he saw a victim with a wrist watch but when the particular body was brought down the watch was not there. Tomas Apolinario who is the head of the local southern Police said they would investigate the looting and try to identify the people who might have participated.