Classroom, houses for Ati tribe in Boracay
ILOILO CITY—The Ati tribe on Boracay Island, which has long been threatened with eviction from the famous island-resort, will soon have its own classroom building and housing complex.
President Aquino’s sister, Victoria Eliza Aquino-Dee, vice chairperson of the Assisi Development Foundation Inc. (Adfi), and Benjamin Abadiano, president, led a ground-breaking ceremony to launch the housing and livelihood project in Barangay Manoc-Manoc.
Adfi is a nonstock and nonprofit organization that helps poor and marginalized communities by providing livelihood, housing, education and skills training.
Some 200 Ati members have been occupying an area in Manoc-Manoc, which is covered by a government-issued certificate of ancestral domain title (CADT).
The construction of the Ati Development Complex would start within the year, said Abadiano, a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership in 2004. It involves putting up a multipurpose building that will serve as a classroom for preschool children and training center for adults.
A total of 48 houses will be constructed for the Ati people.
The complex will have a clinic, livelihood center, heritage house, chapel and a restaurant for visitors and tourists which will be run by the tribe.
Abadiano said the project would help ensure the stability of the community and develop self-reliance among the Ati members.
The tribe has been occupying parts of a 2.1-hectare property covered by the CADT granted by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) on January 21, 2011. But three claimants have been contesting the CADT.
The NCIP and anthropological studies have supported claims that the Ati people were the earliest settlers of Boracay but were displaced and driven away. Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Inquirer Visayas
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