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
Duterte warns businessmen not to turn Palawan into a cesspool like Boracay
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)
P43M fine ordered to 209 non-compliant establishments in Boracay
BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered 209 establishments to pay P43 million in total for violation of environmental laws.
The DENR’s Pollution Adjudication Board has fined 110 structures for violations of Section 1, Rule 9 of Republic Act 8749 or the Clean Water Act; 72 structures for failure to obtain permit to discharge water pollutants, a violation of Section 27 of the Clean Water Act; while others are sanctioned for other multiple violations.
The amount of fine depends on the length of time the business has been established and the gravity of the offense.
Overall, the DENR has ordered a fine of P43 million to all non-compliant establishments in Boracay Island.
The written warning has already been sent to each of the establishments for immediate action.
Failure to respond to the payment order will not allow them to operate or process any application for permit.
The DENR is closely monitoring the compliance of business establishments in Boracay to ensure that it will not return to its “cesspool” state again. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)
DAR vows to distribute 8 hectares of Boracay agri land to Ati tribe
Instead of running for the upcoming elections, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John Castriciones has decided to continue his duty in the department.
Earlier reports said the Secretary was going to run under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas that advocates federalism.
However, Castriciones confirmed that he will focus instead on serving farmer-beneficiaries by implementing government’s land distribution program.
“The president has given me a directive that we will aggressively distribute all these lands to our farmer beneficiaries,” said the agrarian reform secretary.
Castriciones said that there are currently 561,000 hectares of land and 260,000 “government-owned lands” that are up for distribution by DAR.
He also assured to carry out President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to distribute among farmer-beneficiaries the agricultural lands in Boracay Island.
“I will see to it, with the blessings of the president that his directive about the lands in Boracay to be distributed shall be finally implemented,” said Castriciones.
Currently, there are 7.9 hectares of land in Brgy. Manoc-Manoc in Boracay that can be distributed to the island’s indigenous Ati tribe.
The government targets to place about 25 hectares of land in Boracay under land reform as part of the island’s clean-up drive. — Yssa Jalmasco ( with reports from Charlie Barredo)