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Gov’t vows to aid residents affected by Boracay closure

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The local government of Malay, Aklan has no concrete plan yet on the order to shutdown Boracay island.

Executive Assistant to the Mayor, Rowen Aguirre, said they have yet to detail how to assist the affected residents.

“Hindi kakayanin ng LGU ang magpoprovide ng financial assistance doon sa mga madidisplace. If there’s no economic acitivity, wala ring cash flow,” said Aguirre.

(The LGU cannot handle providing financial assistance to the displaced families. If there’s no economic activity, there’s also no cash flow.)

The national government vowed to provide P2-billion worth of cash for work assistance to the displaced workers.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the financial aid will go through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and will be distributed to residents who will help in the rehabilitation of the province.

Despite this, Arnel Pamal, who works as a chef, is worried especially as they are expecting their third baby.

“Sa mga casual magkakaroon talaga ng forced leave. Nag-uumpisa palang talaga. Malungkot kasi ma-close na uli kung kelan nag-umpisa na ako,” said Pamal.

(To  casual workers, there will be forced leave. I just started working. I’m sad because we are closing just when I started work.)

Myrna Prado, a massage therapist, is also worried about the fate of her 10 children who depend on her income alone.

“Wala na akong ibang hanapbuhay. Wala pang trabaho ang asawa ko,” she said.

(I have no other livelihood. My husband has no work.)

Meanwhile, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian is against the closure of Boracay island for half a year.

Gatchalian said that the timeframe is too long, noting the removal of illegal structures could be completed within just three months.

“The activities can be conducted by partial closure or a closure of different segments of Boracay,” said Gatchalian.

Sen. JV Ejercito, on the other hand, supports the government’s move to shut down the tourist spot but noted that it should be done in June to lessen its impact. — Robbie De Guzman | UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte warns businessmen not to turn Palawan into a cesspool like Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, November 12th, 2018

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)

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Duterte awards land ownership to Ati tribe in Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, November 9th, 2018

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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P43M fine ordered to 209 non-compliant establishments in Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

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)

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