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Duterte awards land ownership to Ati tribe in Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 9 November 2018 10:19 AM

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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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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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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Boracay’s compliant hotel and resorts reaches 296 – DOT

by admin   |   Posted on Monday, 31 December 2018 05:02 PM

 

Aerial shot of Boracay Island

BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – Only 150 hotels and resorts are allowed to operate in Boracay Island when it reopened on October 26 after its six-month rehabilitation.

However, before the year-end, the number of accredited and compliant hotels and resorts has reached to 296.

This is equivalent to 10, 247 rooms in accommodation establishments for tourists.

And as the government continues its rehabilitation efforts on the island, several changes were seen since it was reopened to tourists.

The concreting works at the main road of the island is close to completion particularly the path from Cagban Jetty Port to Bulabog area and some parts of Station 1.

Travel has been made easier as both lanes are now open at the main road.

There are also designated areas for souvenir shops and massage.

Because beach beds and umbrellas are not allowed at the beach front, tourists are placing towels on the sand for sun bathing and resting after swimming.

All water sports activities have resumed on Sunday (December 30) after they were cancelled due to Tropical Depression Usman last week.

The Boracay Inter-agency Task Force and the Malay Local Government installed solar lamps along the stretch of  the beach front at the white beach.

Aside from serving as main lighting source in the white beach, they also deter thieves and other lawless elements thus preventing  untoward incidents.

The task force also prohibits the use of fireworks in Boracay Island to protect the endangered species such as the golden-crowned flying fox,  the largest known species of bat.

Any kind firecracker is also prohibited on the island.

“Lahat ng mga paputok pinagbabawal po sa isla. May designated naman po tayo dun sa mainland. May area po dun isang barangay. Kung may fireworks man dun na lang i-operate,” said Malay-Aklan Acting Mayor Abram Sualog.

Meanwhile, the local government, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, BFP, PNP and volunteer groups are all-set to respond on any incident in the year-end revelry.

Malay government has advised the public to use alternatives to firecrackers in welcoming 2019. — Vincent Arboleda| UNTV News & Rescue

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