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DAR to validate ‘productive’ land areas in Boracay

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, 20 April 2018 12:07 PM

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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Demolition warning issued against non-compliant Boracay establishments

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 1 March 2019 03:31 PM

Boracay Island

The Boracay Interagency Task Force has given 10 non-compliant establishments a 15-day ultimatum, beginning March 1, to remove their structures after failing to follow the easement rule in Boracay even after the 10-month rehabilitation effort.

During a press conference on Thursday, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said this warning will send a “strong message to everyone, who are still violating  the easement, that we really mean business.”

A 30-meter no-build zone along the beachfront was implemented in Boracay since the start of its rehabilitation in April.

Año warned that the non-compliant establishments should opt for self-demolition, otherwise the Task Force will take on the responsibility of removing these establishments.

“We will issue the final ultimatum and then we’ll give them 15 days, then we will forcibly demolish all these establishments if they do not do self-demolition.” Año added. —Aileen Cerrudo

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Duterte to fire two DAR officials over corruption

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, 30 January 2019 07:32 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte. | ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte hinted that he will fire two officials of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) due to corruption and negligence over a land reform application that was stalled for two years.

“Ah may tanggalin ako sa—dalawa — sa DAR. An application that was long delayed, two years sa opisina nila. That is corruption to me” the President said during the groundbreaking of a hospital in Malabon on Tuesday (January 29).

The Chief Executive warned the two to resign or face charges.

He added that he will not allow delays in the processing of documents unless the officials can justify them.

“I will ask them to resign or else I will file charges against them and I will see to it they will get their comeuppance,” the President said. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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REPASO 2018: The Boracay story: Years of ‘cesspool’ to a paradise in months

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 31 December 2018 07:10 PM

 

President Rodrigo Duterte on April 26, 2018 ordered a six-month closure of Boracay Island after reports of overpopulation, pollution and corruption turned the country’s top tourist destination into a ‘cesspool’.

“I will close Boracay. Boracay is a cesspool. It is destroying the environment of the Republic of the Philippines and creating a disaster,” the President said.

Environment investigators discovered poor sewage system with pipelines discharging wastewater directly to the sea.

What happened next to Boracay was a total overhaul – establishments within the 20-meter easement zone were demolished; drainages were replaced and repaired; roads were constructed and widened.

Thousands of workers and residents temporarily lost their sources of income as commercial establishments were barred from operating.

The government, meanwhile, provided alternative jobs for residents under the cash for work program.

While rehabilitation was ongoing, it was discovered that a portion of a mountain in the island was flattened to give way for the construction of a casino resort

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) launched an investigation.

But the local government maintained there was never been a plan to construct a casino in the island.

Early this year, Boracay made world headlines as President Rodrigo Duterte ordered its shutdown after declaring it a “cesspool” for years of mismanagement, over tourism, abuse, massive pollution and corruption.

“I will close Boracay. Boracay is a cesspool. It is destroying the environment of the Republic of the Philippines and creating a disaster,” the President said.

Government investigators found that most commercial structures had been operating without permits and violating environmental laws among others.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) deep penetrating radar revealed that 43 sites in the entire white beach area of Boracay Island were planted with illegal sewers.

More than 2,000 businesses and homes were illegally connected to the island’s sewage system, all pumping their waste water directly into the sea.

Pollution level at the beach was unprecedented as coliform contamination in Boracay waters already exceeded environmental standards for recreational water.

Seventeen (17) local officials of Aklan province were charged with graft, conduct unbecoming of public officials, gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the services over irregularities in managing Boracay Island.

An inter-agency task force was created to manage the six-month rehabilitation works in the island starting off with the construction of a new sewerage and drainage system, communication lines and the main road.

After six months of closure and with environment laws and building codes now being enforced, only 68 hotels and resort lodgings are noted compliant, ready to accept bookings.

After days of dry run, the paradise Island of the Philippines is set to officially reopen its gates to tourists but…under stricter compliance guidelines.

Tourist arrivals have been limited to 6,400 each day.

The ‘no booking, no entry’ policy is strictly being imposed.

No smoking and drinking is allowed at the beach front.

No party events by the beach.

No loitering.

The Boracay Inter-agency Task Force hopes the improvements in Boracay will become a template for other rehabilitation works in various tourist spots in the country.

Today, rehabilitation works are still ongoing in Boracay.

The government aims at completing the rehabilitation in 2020. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

 

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