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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

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NPA’s holiday ceasefire a sham — Año

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: New People’s Army

MANILA, Philippines — The unilateral ceasefire declared by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is meaningless and for propaganda only, according to Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.

Ano added that the real reason for the declaration is to give the CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), a chance to beef up their forces.

“Ito po ay isang malaking kalokohan. Huwag na nilang gamiting dahilan ang kapaskuhan sa pagkukunwari nila na magtitigil-putukan sila sa panahong iyon gayong alam naman nating magpapalakas lang sila ng puwersa (This is a big sham. They should not use the Christmas season for their supposed truce when we know they’re just reinforcing their group),” he said.

Just like the Department of National Defense (DND), the DILG is also not keen on recommending to President Rodrigo Duterte the declaration of a holiday ceasefire with the communist rebels.

Año said the NPA would also just use the truce to launch an attack against government troops.

“Hindi natin pahihintulutan na muli naman tayong mahulog sa bitag. Nakita na natin sa mga nagdaang panahon ang kawalan ng sinseridad ng mga komunista at ng kanilang front organizations (We will not allow ourselves to fall into the same trap again. We have seen time and again the insincerity of the Communists and their front organizations),” he said.

The DILG Chief insists that if the CPP is truly sincere on pursuing peace, its founding chair, Joma Sison, should return to the Philippines and meet with the President. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte warns businessmen not to turn Palawan into a cesspool like Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, November 12th, 2018

PALAWAN, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte warns business owners in Palawan to be mindful of their water waste disposals so as not to turn the island into a cesspool like what happened in Boracay.

So I’m giving notice also to all hotels nag-operate diyan sa dagat. Huwag ninyong itapon ‘yung tubo ninyo diretso. If you want to build a hotel, add another so many million to have a water treatment,” he said during a speech on the opening of Subaraw Festival in Palawan Saturday (November 10).

He advised them nothing more but to “follow rules.”

“So kindly just — isang ano lang ako. Maski ako. Follow rules. Period. Wala… Make the day perfect. Do not look for trouble. Just follow the law,” he added.

He also stressed the need to minimize the influx of tourists into the tourist province to prevent overcrowding.

You know, itong ano ninyo, linisin lang ninyo. Huwag lang ninyo i-overload. Huwag ninyong i-overload. Bantay kayo diyan. Boracay is a classic case of overloading. It can carry only so much people,” he said.

The President cited El Nido as an example where tourist arrival has been growing by 30% per year since 2016.

It can be noted that the President ordered the closure of Boracay Island because of overpopulation, pollution and corruption which brought the island into world headlines for being a “cesspool.”

Though the island reopened late in October, rehabilitation works continue.

A total of 116 establishments were ordered permanent closure due to multiple violations of environmental laws. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Andy Pagayona)

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Duterte awards land ownership to Ati tribe in Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, November 9th, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte with Agrarian Secretary John Castriciones personally awarded the first batch of titles as part of the agrarian reform program for the Ati indigenous group in Boracay on November 9

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – More than six months since President Rodrigo Duterte ordered land reform in the island of Boracay, the President on Thursday (November 9) personally awarded the first batch of titles as part of the agrarian reform program for the Ati indigenous group in Boracay.

Six certificates of land ownership award (CLOA) equivalent to 3.2 hectares of land have been issued to 45 agrarian reform beneficiaries.

Forty-three (43) of them are members of the Boracay Ati Tribal Organization while one is a local land cultivator in the island.

The specific lands located in Barangay Manocmanoc, Boracay will be collectively owned by the Ati community.

 It was in June this year when the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) initially planned to put 25 hectares of land in Boracay under the first phase of the agrarian reform program.

 But after doing an actual ground validation on the island, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) finally turned over 7.96 hectares of land to DAR to be put under agrarian reform.

 Despite that, only 3.2 of the 7.96 hectares where issued CLOA which was eventually distributed to the Ati by the President.

Seven claimants, however, expressed ownership of the said land.

This worries the Ati beneficiaries, fearing that this will bring them trouble and that the land will, eventually, be taken away from them by the claimants.

Despite that issue, DAR Secretary John Castriciones assures the Ati tribe of their right to the land.

 “Walang dapat sila ikatakot kasi itong mga to, tax declarant lang sila. And as I said, ang tax declaration is not a full proof of ownership. It can (inaudible) Into a claim later on but that’s after 30 years when they can claim for a free patent,” Castriciones said.

The Secretary added that these claimants can longer contest the lands awarded by the government to the beneficiaries.

 “Since it was already turned over to us, it’s no longer free for acquisition,” he explained.

Meanwhile, 439 Aklanon farmers were also given lands in various areas in Aklan.

Beneficiaries were also given garden kits and tools, and will undergo training to maximize the use of the land through agriculture.

The DAR is now looking into 14 hectares of land in Boracay to be given to other target beneficiaries on the island. – Vincent Arboleda

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