7.9 ha in Boracay set as agrarian reform area

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MEMBERS of the Ati indigenous people of Boracay, with assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA), are setting up an organic high-value vegetables farm and restaurant in Boracay.

EIGHT LOTS with a total area of 7.9640 hectares has been set as agrarian reform land in Boracay island and will be up for distribution. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Western Visayas (DENR-6) turned over on Oct. 10 the technical documents for the land to the regional office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). DENR-6 Regional Executive Director Jim O. Sampulna said the two agencies conducted the joint ground verification on areas suitable for agriculture. Mr. Sampulna said the eight lots, all located in Barangay Manoc-Manoc, are free of structures but there are claimants to the land. DAR will be in charge of settlements prior to distribution to qualified beneficiaries, particularly members of the Ati indigenous group. DAR Assistant Regional Director for Operations Gideon A. Umadhay Jr. said the survey was in response to the statement of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to impose land reform on the resort island. “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. DAR aims to distribute the lands by December 2018. — Louine Hope U. Conserva