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Cabinet to discuss final decision on Boracay closure

by UNTV   |   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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DAR to validate ‘productive’ land areas in Boracay

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018

FILE: PHOTO Boracay Island beach from afar

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on April 24 and 25 will conduct validation of land in Boracay Island to identify areas that can still be considered productive.

The move is in line with the directive from President Rodrigo Duterte to place Boracay under land reform.

In a press conference Friday at DAR head office,  DAR Undersecretary David Erro said about 600 hectares of agricultural land in Boracay are feasible for distribution based on the agency’s record.

However,Erro said only around four hectares remain and can be considered productive. The inspection, Erro said, would help them revalidate the accuracy of their record and eventually identify possible beneficiaries.

Aside from the agricultural land, DAR’s records also identified over 300 hectares of forest land in the island which could also provide employment for farmers under community based forest management agreement with DENR.

According to Usec. Erro, DAR considers all land titles in Boracay invalid based on Proclamation 1064 issued under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The proclamation, which was supported by the Supreme Court in 2008 through G.R. 167702, upholds government ownership over Boracay Island.

DAR added that once validation is complete, the process of distributing land to recognized beneficiaries will take up to six months. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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14 establishments in Puerto Galera ordered closed

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: White Beach in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines, looking towards the west end. (Credits: Eugene Alvin Villar via Wikipedia)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered 14 establishments in Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro to clear out its beaches in the next 30 days.

DENR noted that the establishments are located along the shorelines of Sabang and White Beach which violates the agency’s requirement of “three-meter easement zone.”

Also among the establishments’ violations is improper disposal of wastewater.

The 14 establishments ordered to vacate the area include:

  1. Ocean Dream Lodge
  2. Black Lodging House
  3. Sabang Inn
  4. Sabang Divers
  5. Mangosteen Restaurant
  6. Captn Gregg
  7. Eddies Place Bar and Restaurant
  8. Tinas Sunset Cottages
  9. Restaurant and Dive Center
  10. Montani Beach Resort
  11. I Dive at Casa Mia
  12. Marginor Dinner and Snack
  13. Modem Development Company Inc.
  14. Mermaid Resort Charletan

DENR is readying to conduct demolition should the owners refuse to adhere to the voluntary dismantle order.

Currently, Task Force Galera is reviewing the operations of around 500 establishments in Sabang and White Beach which are popular tourist destinations in Oriental Mindoro. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Fishing allowed in Boracay amid temporary shutdown

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Tourist enjoying the Boracay Beach

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has released the updated general guidelines for the six-month rehabilitation program of Boracay Island.

One of the revisions include the swimming guidelines.

In the initial guidelines, Angol Beach in Station 3 is identified as the sole swimming area in the island.

But with the new policy, the swimming area was moved to Station 1.

To identify the open area for swimming, buoys will be placed.

Another change in the guidelines is the provision on floating structures. From the original 15 kilometers, floating structures are only allowed to be set within three kilometers from the shoreline.

Also included in the new guidelines is the fishing policy.

According to the DILG update, fishing is allowed anywhere in the island despite the closure.

However, the coast guard said fishermen should have identification cards.

“Pwede mangisda as long as na taga-Boracay sila (Fishing is allowed as long as they are residents of Boracay). Ang gobyerno hindi naman pahirapan ang tao sa Boracay (The government will not let the people of Boracay suffer),” said  Lt. Commander Ramil Palabrica, chief of the PCG-Caticlan station.  UNTV News & Rescue

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