President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday declared the entire island of Boracay Island as a land reform area amid the ongoing rehabilitation of the country’s top tourist destination.
“I’m declaring land reform sa (in) the entire island of Boracay. Mag-usap nalang kami sa (We’ll just talk in the) Congress,” Duterte said in a speech at the Bureau of Customs in Manila.
“The entire island will be declared as a land reform area. Sagarin na natin (Let’s go all out), give it to the people,” he added.
Duterte, however, suggested that if lawmakers preferred to keep the commercial quality of the island, he would allow them to cut a strip of land for that purpose.
“But I don’t mind Congress. Maybe the lawmakers, I would just suggest that if you really want to maintain the commercial quality of that place maybe you can cut a strip, an inland baka bigyan mo siguro ng (maybe you can give it an) easement about 30 meters, but that’s it,” Duterte said.
The President reiterated that the island is still classified as a forest and agricultural land.
“Ayoko maki-alam (I don’t want to interfere) but Congress, may I suggest to them most respectfully, you can cut but the rest of the island I will be declaring it as a land reform,” the President said.
“Ibigay ko muna sa mga (I’ll first give it to the) natives and after that we can talk but in the meantime, that is the policy that I’m trying to enunciate,” he added.PNA