DENR identifies 8 land reform lots in Boracay

DAR-6 assistant regional director for operation Gideon Umadhay Jr. (seated) receives the technical survey records of land reform lots in Boracay Island from DENR-6 regional executive director Jim Sampulna (standing). (Louine Hope Conserva)

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-6) on Oct 10, 2018 officially turned over to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR-6) the technical survey records of eight cadastral lots suitable for distribution in Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan.

The eight land holdings, all in Barangay Manoc-Manoc, have a total area of 7.9640 hectares.

DENR-6 regional executive director Jim Sampulna said both agencies conducted the joint ground verification on areas suitable for agriculture.

“It is a result of the painstaking effort of DAR, assisted by the DENR and even the Bureau of Lands in Manila,” he said.

Sampulna said the lots are free of structures. While there are claimants of the lots, he said it is up to DAR to settle the claims.

DENR also gave DAR the authority to administratively dispose the lots in accordance with the latter’s existing laws, rules, and regulations.

DAR-6 Assistant Regional Director for Operations Gideon Umadhay Jr. said the survey is in response to the statement of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to impose land reform on Boracay.

“With that technical document turned over to us, we have now the jurisdiction to conduct survey, approval of survey returns of DENR as well, and likewise the disposition of the 7.9-hectare lots,” he said.

The lots will be given to qualified beneficiaries, particularly the Atis based on the certified list from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

“There will be identification and screening but we are prioritizing the tribes coming from Boracay,” he said.

DAR aims to dispose the lands in December 2018.

A survey team in Boracay is conducting a consultation with the Atis, especially those who would like to become beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government.

Umadhay said the turn over shows to the public that government agencies are one in terms of rural development and ecological balance and preservation.

“This is a milestone and a showcase of convergence of government agencies in alleviating the plight of our people. This vision is related to development and preservation of Boracay Island which is a gem in the Philippines,” he said.

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