Only 8 hectares in Boracay to be distributed to IPs, says DENR
The government is set to distribute only about eight hectares of land in Boracay island in Malay, Aklan to some 31 families, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said on Tuesday.
In a press briefing in Malacanang, DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones said the government hopes to give the land before Christmas to the beneficiaries who are natives in the island.
"The final figure now as submitted by the DENR and DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform) is about 7.8 or seven hectares, less than eight hectares," he said.
"Perhaps before Christmas, the DAR can already resolve how to distribute these lands," he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the closure of Boracay for six months since April in order to undergo rehabilitation.
He likened the island to a "cesspool."
Duterte blamed too much commercialization of the island on why the quality of water in Boracay deteriorated.
He vowed to distribute parcels of land in the island to indigenous people living in the area.
Leones said the government could no longer increase the land area, which could be distributed to the indigenous people there.
The government is set to partially open Boracay to tourists on October 26, six months after its closure. Celerina Monte/DMS