Ekran Berhad investing US$ 20 M to reopen P1.5-B Samal Casino Resort this year
By Digna D. Banzon

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 15 (PNA) — Ekran Berhad Sdn, a Malaysian conglomerate that owns a chain of big hotels, is set to re-open this year the Samal Casino Resort in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte.

Secretary Jesus Dureza, Presidential Adviser on Mindanao and the Philippine Signing Minister for the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), said the revival of the casino resort was confirmed by its Malaysian owner, headed by Tan Sri Datuk Ting Pek Khiing, executive chairman of Ekran Berhad Sdn. during a recently held bilateral meeting between the Philippines and Malaysia in Brunei Darussalam.

Dureza said the P1.5 billion tourism complex in Samal’s Kaputian District would soon be back in full business.

He said the meeting was a side event of the BIMP-EAGA Roundtable Discussion on the Community-based Ecotourism (CBET) development, which was part of the week-long 18th BIMP-EAGA Senior Officials and 14th Signing Ministers meeting and other related events held in Brunei Darussalam on August 5-8.

Meanwhile, Ekran Berhad officials also said they were working on the revival of the Davao-Kota Kinabalu air link, in partnership with the Malaysian Airlines, which used to ply the route in 1990s before it folded up operations due to low passenger load.

“As a result of the meeting, we’re putting back on track the Samal Casino Resort. This is an indication of a sound business environment in Mindanao and across borders as there is now an opportunity to reconnect in the south,” Dureza said.

Dureza, along with Samal Mayor Aniano Antalan, Tourism Undersecretary Oscar Palabyab and Davao Del Norte Congressman Anton Lagdameo, met with Ekran Berhad officials in Brunei to discuss and agree on the most feasible arrangement that will facilitate the re-opening of the resort.

“This will surely boost tourism and employment opportunities and expected to generate P50 million in various taxes,” said Lagdameo, also chairperson of the House Committee on BIMP-EAGA Affairs. In its bid to reopen the resort, Ekran Berhad Sdn. is set to infuse an estimated US$ 15 to US$ 20 million new capital investment. “The plan to resume the operations of Ekran was based on sound business decision. Sa tingin nila maganda na ang business environment sa Mindanao,” said Trade Undersecretary Merly Cruz, the Philippine Senior Official for BIMP-EAGA.

The Samal Casino Resort, which sits on a 250-hectare area in Samal is about 30 minutes by boat from Sta. Ana wharf, Davao City, Mindanao’s premier economic hub.

The resort started operating as a hotel and casino in late 1997 with 300 rooms and a ballroom that could accommodate 3,000 people. It is one of the large scale investments ushered by an agreement forged between Philippines and Malaysia in the early 1990’s under the BIMP-EAGA initiative. (PNA) RMA/Digna D. Banzon/lvp



  1. Ekran eyes resort re-opening in December
    By Ben O. Tesiorna

    THE Samal Casino Resort in the Island Garden City of Samal, owned by Malaysian conglomerate Ekran Berhad Sdn, will soon reopen its doors to high roller gamblers once the local government has completed the much needed infrastructures in the island.

    In a visit to the said resort Friday, Presidential Assistant for Mindanao Jesus Dureza said Ekran Berhad Sdn owner, Tan Sri Datuk “Dr” Ting Pek Khiing, wanted to reopen the multi-billion peso resort by December 2009. He said the only concern of the resort owner now is the completion of the infrastructures that the Philippine government promised to implement.

  2. Gov’t to allots P60M for the reopening of Ekrah Berhad Sdn

    DAVAO CITY, Aug. 24 (PNA) — The government will allocate P60 million to pave the way of the re-opening of the Ekran Berhad Sdn casino resort in the Island Garden City of Samal by December this year after stopping its operations in 2000 due to the global financial crisis.

    Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said the government, through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), will be completing the road network in the area and other infrastructure developments, one of the agreements of the Malaysian conglomerate and the government.

    “We will also be installing a water system, another request, of the group, but the more expensive is the infrastructure aspect,” Durano said.

    The Tourism secretary was in Davao City over the weekend for the Mindanao Travel and Tour Expo 2009 at the Davao Convention and Trade Center…

  3. Dureza said Ekran Berhad is already allotting P500 million for the rehabilitation of the Samal Casino Resort, which has been left unattended by almost nine years after its closure.

    The resort obviously needs a repainting, minor reconstruction as some of its wood materials have already been destroyed by termites; its dike was also destroyed by the strong waves.

    1. im sure it would take them time to achieve that goal..for now bawi muna sa nine years na clogged investment. congrats davao

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