Cabinet to discuss final decision on Boracay closure
by UNTV News | Posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018
BORACAY ISLAND, one of the most visited destinations in the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Department of Tourism (DOT) have already submitted to Malacañang the detailed proposal in the closure of Boracay Island starting on April 26.
The said recommendation of the inter-agency task force aims to give way to the extensive clean-up drive on the island.
Through a text message, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra stated that the final action on Boracay would be likely discussed at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.
As for the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the agency believes it would best if its closure would just take place during lean months or low season.
In this way, the establishments or workers on the island would not be severely affected.
“Una, nirekomenda namin na simulan ito sa lean months. Ibig sabihin, magkakaroon talaga ng pagbaba sa empleyo—ang mga seasonal employment sa lugar. Ikalawa, nirerekomenda namin na ang bilang nga mga manggagawang ito sila ang maaaring isama sa paglilinis,” said NEDA Usec. Rosemarie Edillon.
(Firstly, we are recommending to start this in the lean season. That means there will be a drop in the employment—the seasonal employment in the area. Number two, we are also recommending that these workers be involved in the clean-up drive.)
Meanwhile, the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) and Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 6 has begun creating a contingency plan for the forthcoming shut down of the island.
Dir. Jose Roberto Nuñez said they are already preparing for the mitigation plans to whatever would be the outcome of the interagency’s recommendation on the Boracay closure.
“If the president will say, ‘I will totally close that,’ if ever, then meron na tayong preparation (we would already have some preparation),” said the director.
“We could mitigate ang effect niya sa (its effect on) livelihood sa (on the) business sector,” said RPOC chair Gov. Samuel Gumar
If the island would be totally shut down, 79,182 individuals and over 36,000 jobs might get affected.
This is apart from the million peso revenues in the island that has been gone. — Robbie De Guzman | UNTV News & Rescue
by UNTV News and Rescue | Posted on Friday, June 29th, 2018
BORACAY Island, Philippines – Aside from rehabilitating the beaches of Boracay, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recommends measures to improve the quality of air on the island.
The agency said they will require all vehicles in the island to comply with the specifications stated under the government’s modernization program.
“They must be compliant EURO 4. Meaning they will have a new engine because we would like to make Boracay air pollution compliant,” said DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu.
In line with this, the agency will push through with the phase-out of gas-fueled tricycles in Boracay come September this year.
Malay LGU Executive Assistant Rowen Aguire, it has been years since the local government introduced the use of e-trikes as a replacement for gas-fueled tricycles. It is about time to comply with the directive as stated in the 6-month action plan of the LGU.
“Ma pi-phase out siya kasi ika-cancel mo na talaga yung kanilang mga franchises…pati yung permit niya to transport ire-revoke na rin,” Aguirre warned.
(It [tricycles] will be phased out because their franchises will be cancelled…even their permit to transport will also be revoked.)
Tricyle drivers said they are willing to comply with the requirements of DENR though they have a number of concerns. DENR, for its part, assured that they will give drivers enough time to upgrade their units to become environmental law compliant. — Vincent Arboleda / Marje Pelayo
by UNTV News and Rescue | Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2018
Aerial view of Boracay sunset (via UNTV drone)
BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – Seventeen (17) local officials of Aklan province are now facing multiple charges over irregularities in managing Boracay Island.
DILG Undersecretary Epimacio Densing III filed Thursday (June 28) charges of graft, conduct unbecoming of public officials, gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the services against them.
Among the respondents are Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores, Mayor Ceciron Cawaling of Malay, Vice Mayor Abram Saulog and members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Malay.
According to Rowen Aguire, executive assistant of Malay, Mayor Cawiling welcomes any investigation into the matter.
“Hihintayin niyang dumating yung complaints then they will look into the allegations and they will answer accordingly kasi ang tingin naman niya ay wala naman siyang kasalanan,” Aguire said.
Sangguniang Bayan member and chair of the local environment committee, Maylynn Graf did not expect her name to be implicated in the case. She argued that she was among the advocates of protecting the environment in Boracay.
“Parang baka kulang pa yung ginagawa ko siguro, kailangan kong dagdagan. private sector ako o taong gobyerno ako yun naman ang rason ba’t nandito siguro ako at yun lang ang palagi kong ipinapaglaban,” Graf said.
UNTV News Team attempted to reach Governor Miraflores via phone call but to no avail.
Other barangay officials, meanwhile, refused to comment on the issue. They said they will wait for the copy of the charges from the Office of the Ombudsman before they answer or comment on the case. – Vincent Arboleda / Marje Pelayo
FILE PHOTO: An aerial shot of Boracay Island taken during the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) aerial inspection with members of the UNTV News Team
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) already submitted to the Office of the Cabinet Secretary its proposed guidelines in distributing Boracay lands to farmers.
“This will be calendared soon sa (at the) Cabinet meeting and this will be presented to the president for the specific recommendation of the executive order pertaining to Boracay alone. And with that we hope that we will be able to clear and have a specific guidelines on the way agrarian reform program in Boracay has to be implemented,” said Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Atty. John Castriciones.
With this, Secretary Castriciones said the president might release this week an executive order to speed up the process of land reform in the island.
Castriciones noted that the president wants to immediately distribute the land in Boracay which then warrants the removal of illegal structures built there.
DAR is currently conducting surveys, inspections and farmer identification on the island.
“If there is no law giving justification on why they are allowed there, we will take measures to include those areas to be distributed to farmers,” said the Agrarian Secretary.
The government has estimated that 25 hectares of land may be distributed to members of the Ati tribe to improve their lives.
Meanwhile, the DAR secretary revealed that the government is offering affordable housing units to farmers.
The housing units can be bought at lower prices and are payable within 30-years with the help of other agencies like Pag-IBIG and Landbank.
Around 2.8 million farmers are expected to benefit from the program.
There are model houses in Bayumbong, Nueva Vizcaya, San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, Argao, Cebu and Panabo City, Davao del Norte.
Castriciones said farmers just need to show their proof of income from farming to avail of the said program. — Cathy Maglalang
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