FILE PHOTO: An aerial shot of Boracay Island taken during the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) aerial inspection with members of the UNTV News Team
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) already submitted to the Office of the Cabinet Secretary its proposed guidelines in distributing Boracay lands to farmers.
“This will be calendared soon sa (at the) Cabinet meeting and this will be presented to the president for the specific recommendation of the executive order pertaining to Boracay alone. And with that we hope that we will be able to clear and have a specific guidelines on the way agrarian reform program in Boracay has to be implemented,” said Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Atty. John Castriciones.
With this, Secretary Castriciones said the president might release this week an executive order to speed up the process of land reform in the island.
Castriciones noted that the president wants to immediately distribute the land in Boracay which then warrants the removal of illegal structures built there.
DAR is currently conducting surveys, inspections and farmer identification on the island.
“If there is no law giving justification on why they are allowed there, we will take measures to include those areas to be distributed to farmers,” said the Agrarian Secretary.
The government has estimated that 25 hectares of land may be distributed to members of the Ati tribe to improve their lives.
Meanwhile, the DAR secretary revealed that the government is offering affordable housing units to farmers.
The housing units can be bought at lower prices and are payable within 30-years with the help of other agencies like Pag-IBIG and Landbank.
Around 2.8 million farmers are expected to benefit from the program.
There are model houses in Bayumbong, Nueva Vizcaya, San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, Argao, Cebu and Panabo City, Davao del Norte.
Castriciones said farmers just need to show their proof of income from farming to avail of the said program. — Cathy Maglalang