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DAR to conduct 3 phases of land reform in Boracay Island

Department of Agrarian Reform has already handpicked some 80 indigenous people (IPs) who are eligible as land reform beneficiaries.

Edison Tongol

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Boracay to become coconut grower under agrarian reform program 2018JUNE05

The Philippine government is considering coconuts as the primary yield of Boracay Island, once the country’s top tourist destination has put through agrarian reform.

President Rodrigo Duterte once again restated that he wanted the entire Island of Boracay under land reform.

“We talked to an agricultural engineer and based on the soil, coconut is the most conducive for Boracay,” Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Undersecretary David Erro said on Monday, June 4.

Erro added that DAR wanted beneficiaries to provide a “steady supply” of harvests.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), coconut fruit is amongst the top agricultural export goods of the country, alongside banana and pineapple.

As of last year, the wholesale price of copra cost P25.59 per kilo, while mature nuts is being sold at P22.20.

DAR has already handpicked some 80 indigenous people (IPs) who meet requirements and are eligible as land reform beneficiaries.

The agriculture department has arranged a draft Executive Order that would be submitted to the President during the next Cabinet meeting, which will be held on June 11.

Dar added that the agrarian reform in the Island of Boracay will be regulated in 3 phases. The first one, which involves 25 hectares of land reforms in barangays Yapak, Balabag, and Manoc Manoc, will be executed “immediately” since there are no any establishments in these zones.

Meanwhile, the second stage and third phase involve 220 and 633 hectares of land, respectively.

DAR undersecretary claimed that the remaining phases would be problematic, since these would involve demolition of many establishments in the area. Furthermore, the land may no longer be hug-yielding in those areas because of the structures built on the area.

To make the land beneficial for agriculture again, DAR suggested to cover up the area with some 3 feet of top soil.

President Duterte previously said that a “strip” near the coastline may be given out for commercial purposes, while at the same time dictating that the entire Island of Boracay be put under agrarian reform program.

Erro stressed out that DAR is looking into assigning areas near the shoreline exclusively for tourism and commercial purposes.

“From the shoreline going inside Boracay, let’s say a one kilometer radius. All establishments within that one kilometer will be maintained. The rest will be for agrarian reform,” Erro added.

Boracay has been closed for 6 months as the national government cleans up waters wastes caused by environmental violations of commercial businesses. – CentrioNews.com

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