Duterte: Boracay to be a ‘land reform area’ for farmers after closure
President Rodrigo Duterte said he would declare Boaracay as a land reform area after its six-month rehabilitation period.
“You want to know now, I’m going to make the announcement. It’s going to be a land reform area for the Filipinos,” Duterte said in a press conference in Davao City before flying to China on Monday afternoon.
The President said he would give the land to the farmers there after the temporary closure.
“Consider Boracay a land reform area. I will give it to the farmers, to the Filipino first,” he said.
Duterte had earlier approved the recommendation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Tourism (DoT) to close Boracay for six months starting April 26.
“My orders were to clean it up. So ‘pag mag-clean, sarado (So when it’s being clean, it’s closed). There’s one way in, one way out,” he said.
The Chief Executive said Boracay has been declared as an agricultural area and therefore needs to be a land reform area.
“So maybe after that, I’ll give [it to the] the farmers. I-land reform ko na ‘yan, mas mabuti pa (It will be a land reform, that would be better). I’ll tell you now. I-land reform ko lahat ‘yan (I will have all the land there reformed), then I’ll give it to the farmers,” he said, adding that he would provide farming equipment to the locals there.
He said Filipinos would not gain anything in building a casino in Boracay.
He rejected the building of a casino there after Galaxy Macau’s Galaxy Entertainment Group and its local partner, AB Leisure Exponent Inc., had announced its plan to $500-million integrated casino resort in the famous island resort.
“Bakit bigyan ko kayo diyan ng casino? Ano’ng makuha ng Pilipino diyan? Lahat ‘yan,” he said.
(Why would I give you a casino there? What will the Filipinos get out of it? All of it.)
“Give it to the people who need it most. That is an announcement. It will be a land reform area. Period,” added.
He said he would issue a proclamation making the entire Boracay a land reform area.
“Lahat ‘yan (All of it). I will issue a proclamation, lahat ‘yan. Lahat, agricultural,” he said.
Duterte insisted that the law says Boracay is a forestal and agricultural land.
“Why would I deviate from that? Do I have a good reason to do it? What? Mga casino? Who owns the casino?” he said. /je
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