Duterte thumbs down residential area in Boracay

Published June 4, 2018, 12:32 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

If President Duterte would have it his way, he will not allow to have a residential area in Boracay as this will negate the effects of the government’s rehabilitation efforts in the world famous island.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Committee (MRRD-NECC) National Convention at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City on March 21, 2018. (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

“I will not allow residential… Eh you will spoil everything. Kasi rarami ‘yan, then saan pupunta ‘yan (The number of people will increase, then where would the waste go)? It goes to the sea, again,” he said.

“Now, if you have a huge water treatment there — but can we afford it? Can they afford it?” he added.

Duterte also said that he is not spending money to clean up Boracay can be used by businessmen. He reiterated his intention to give the island to the people once the six-month rehabilitation is finished.

“So ibigay ko na ‘yan sa mga tao for agricultural purposes, kapag hindi, kukunin lang ng mga may pera ‘yan, gawain lang ‘yan nila ng resort. Resort dito, resort doon, resort dito. And in land, ang mga mayaman may mga mansion, mga resort, vacation houses, patay. (I will give it to the people for agricultural purposes because if not, those with money will claim the land. There will build resorts there. They will also build mansions, resorts, vacation houses, then all we’re doing is for nothing ),” he said.

“Hindi ako gumastos diyan, hindi ko inutusan ‘yan si [Environment Secretary] General [Roy] Cimatu diyan maglinis para lang ibigay ko sa mga — no way (I am not spending money and not ordered General Cimatu to clean up just to give it to them—no way),” he added.

“I did not spend money for government just to accommodate ‘yung mga mayayaman (the rich people). It is not for them,” he stressed.

Duterte also maintained that the island is a forestal and agricultural land and that he has yet to see documents that say otherwise.

“It’s a resort, international, first class… I have yet to see a document that says that it is also commercial and residential,” he said.

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s Proclamation No. 1064 classified Boracay into forestland for protection purposes, and agricultural land, as alienable and disposable, in accordance with the Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines, subject to actual ground survey and delineation.

Earlier, Malacañang said that around 80 individuals from the Aeta village in Boracay island can benefit from President Duterte’s decision to put the world-famous tourist destination under land reform.

Duterte earlier explained that he does not want Boracay to be declared a commercial area as it put the environment at stake. However, Duterte said that if Congress wants to maintain a portion of Boracay for tourism, he will respect their decision.

“Baka bigyan mo siguro ng (Maybe you can allot the) easement that [is] about 30 meters but that’s it. Tutal ang interesado diyan yung beach lang naman (Anyway the only interesting part there is just the beach),” he said.

Duterte approved the proposal to close down Boracay Island for six months until October this year to make way for the its rehabilitation.

However, he warned Boracay stakeholders that if they intervene with the government’s operations in the island or he will be forced to declare it as a land reform area.