Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu answers questions during an inspection in Boracay Island.
MANILA, Philippines — Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has reminded owners of commercial establishments located at the no-build zone area of Bulabog Beach in Boracay Island to self-demolish to avoid facing a lawsuit.
The establishments in question stand on forest and wetland areas which the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) prohibits.
“It’s really their right naman but we have to implement the law. The law is there, halimbawa, sinasabi nilang private property na nila yan the government can make some legal remedy para ma-implement,” said the environment secretary.
(It’s really their right also but we have to implement the law. The law is there. For example, they’re claiming that it’s already their private property. The government can make some legal remedy so that it can be implemented.)
On Monday, Cimatu and representatives of concerned agencies inspected the structures built along the 25+5 easement area of the beach.
Establishment owners are given 15 days from today, March 27, to demolish or abandon their structures.
Meanwhile, Cimatu has asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to immediately finish roadworks at Boracay Circumferential Road which connects Barangay Manoc Manoc to Yapak and is expected to ease traffic congestion in the area.
“This will partially or probably reduce the traffic. We are planning to open up another road dito upang i-reduce (here to reduce) travel from one hour to 30 minutes. Ganun,” said Cimatu.
The secretary is confident that with constant cooperation from the local government, the rehabilitation of Boracay Island will speedily progress. — Maris Federes | UNTV News & Rescue
DAR to validate ‘productive’ land areas in Boracay
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
Fishing allowed in Boracay amid temporary shutdown
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
Over 4,000 jobs offered at jobs fair in Boracay for affected workers
One Boracay Save Boracay group organized a job fair for Boracay displaced workers.
Workers who are affected by the Boracay’s temporary shutdown still have a chance to work outside the island.
This is through a jobs fair that was organized by the One Boracay Save Boracay group composed of private individuals and marketing experts in the tourism industry.
Various jobs were offered at the fair, majority of which were tourism related.
These include positions for resort engineers, room attendants, beach cleaners, sales executives and kitchen stewards in Bacolod, Iloilo, Makati, Palawan, Bohol and Cebu.
“Instead of just sitting around and doing nothing we decided to help in whatever we can para maibsan man lang yung magiging kalagayan ng mga tao rito (to alleviate the situation of affected residents) for how many months that it will be closed,” said Jose Clemente III, president of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines. — UNTV News & Rescue