MANILAAt least eight hectares of agricultural land will be distributed to 31 Indigenous People (IP) families on Boracay Island before the end of the year, an official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Tuesday.
In a Palace press briefing, DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones said the department has already transferred approximately eight hectares of land to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for distribution.
The DENR and the DAR have been closely coordinating with each other, Leones said.
He said the DENR has received a directive from President Rodrigo Duterte to hasten the distribution of the land to the IP recipients.
The DAR now is studying and evaluating the area on the feasibility of making this an agricultural area, Leones said. Perhaps before Christmas, the DAR can already resolve how to distribute these lands.
He said 600 hectares oo Boracay Island are identified as agricultural land under Proclamation 1064.
So out of 600 hectares, about eight could be distributed, he said.
Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Proclamation No. 1064 in 2006, classifying 628.96 hectares on Boracay Island as agricultural and 373 hectares as forestland for protection purposes.
Boracay has been closed to tourists since April 26 to give way to a six-month rehabilitation after President Rodrigo Duterte described the island as a "cesspool" due to sewage and other environmental problems.
Leones said the inter-agency task force that undertook its rehabilitation is ready to reopen the island on October 26. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency