Ati farmers to get Boracay property

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Boracay buzz To help maintain its restored beauty, only 19,000 tourists will be allowed in the island paradise at any given day when it reopens in late October. AFP

Eight Boracay landholdings were turned over by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) after a Joint Ground Validation was conducted following President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement in May this year declaring the island of Boracay an agrarian reform area.

Covering 7.9640 hectares, the properties situated in Barangay Manoc-Manoc are set to be distributed to the indigenous farmers in the island as directed by the President.

“With the technical documents turned over to us, we have now the jurisdiction to conduct a survey, approval of the survey returns by the DENR as well and disposition of the lots covered by the eight lots therein,” DAR Assistant Regional Director for Operations Gideon Umadhay said.

He added they can now “roll out with the land distribution” with the Ati farmers as primary beneficiaries based on the certified list provided to them by the National Commission of Indigenous People.

It was disclosed that DAR deployed a survey team in Boracay to conduct consultations with the Ati who signified their intention to become beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

Likewise, the agrarian reform department will also conduct perimeter and subdivision surveys of the identified landholdings.

Umadhay said they are looking forward to awarding the titles to the beneficiaries by the first or last week of December if they receive the greenlight to turn over the collective certificates of land ownership award.

Thereafter, the DAR official said they can apply for subdivision of the lots into parcels should they want to have individual titles. It was noted that each beneficiary is entitled to not less than 1,000 square meters as with the case of farm lots.

Umadhay pointed out that beneficiaries will not be required to pay any amount during the survey and processing of titles.

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