Plans for a proposed casino in the city of Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines are sparking interests beyond those of Limketkai and Sons Inc., said City Councilor Zaldy Ocon on Monday.

Local news agency SunStar reports that Ocon received a call from someone who expressed interest in a casino proposal but did not reveal the identity of the caller.

According to the report, Ocon, who chairs the committee on games and amusement, said that the sudden interest by other groups was not surprising since the City Council made the move to make the application for a casino proposal available to all. He expects others to follow suit and also come forward.

During the city council session, however, Ocon was ordered to not hold public hearings on the matter as the issue has been forwarded to the Committee on Trade and Commerce which will weigh the pros and cons of the casino proposal.

Vice Mayor Rainier Joaquin Uy was reportedly evasive when his stand on the possible opening of a gambling venue was questioned. According to the news agency, Uy said only that he is in favor of development that benefits the people but that he also respects those who oppose the proposal.

Limketkai Sons Inc. is the developer of the Limketkai Center, which covers 25 hectares and is located in the center of Cagayan de Oro City in the province of Misamis Oriental, Philippines, and is home to the largest shopping complex in Northern Mindanao. The company plans to build a casino within the commercial complex which would occupy the entire second floor of its Lifestyle Podium building currently under construction within the Center.

The company’s letter to the City Council in January asked that the council pass a resolution “expressing [its] support and no objection to the project,” according to the report. However, the Roman Catholic Church, among other religious groups, is opposed to the casino proposal and stated that should the plan for the casino be successful, the church will no longer offer the Holy Mass in the Limketkai Mall.

The Lifestyle Podium building is reportedly expected to be completed by January next year.