PRRD TO BORACAY ARBS: KEEP YOUR LAND
NEW LANDOWNERS. President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones distribute Certificates of Land Ownership to members of the Boracay Ati Tribal Organization. Six land titles covering 3.2064 hectares of land were given to the 44 members of the Boracay Ati Tribal Organization on Thursday night (November 8, 2018). (Photo courtesy of Ernesto Bandiola Cruz)
BORACAY ISLAND, Aklan — President Rodrigo R. Duterte has reminded agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Aklan, including the Ati of Boracay, to keep their lands instead of selling it.
“Till the land, make it productive and when the progression period is over, maybe your children can sell it and it could be millions,” Duterte said in his speech during the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) to ARBs, held at Manoc Manoc Covered Court in Boracay on Thursday evening.
“May mga Ati dito na yayaman balang araw (There will be Ati here who will become rich someday),” he added.
A total of 623 CLOAs covering 274.0352 hectares of land under the Agrarian Reform Program (ARP) were distributed to 484 ARBs from Boracay and mainland Malay, and the towns of Buruanga and Tangalan, Aklan.
The President noted the importance of owning a land to ARBs, who call it a “prized possession” due to the difficulty of acquiring properties.
“It could be millions if you want to build something. Ang lupa na iyan, hindi ninyo maipagbili ‘iyan (The land given, you cannot sell it),” he said.
Of the 623 CLOAs distributed, six land titles covering 3.2064 hectares of land were given to the 44 members of the Boracay Ati Tribal Organization (BATO).
Meanwhile, in a speech by a BATO member, delivered on behalf of their tribal chieftain Delsa Justo, the Ati community expressed their gratitude to the President for the land given to them and for the rehabilitation of the island.
“Kaming mga Ati ay lubos ang kasiyahan sapagkat dininig ng Diyos ang aming panalangin na sana dumating ang panahon na maibalik at maiayos ang aming islang pinakamamahal na unti-unti nang nasisira (We Ati are very grateful for our prayers to God have been answered, that a time where our beloved island, which is slowly being destroyed, will now be restored),” the Ati member said.
The Ati expressed hope that with the additional land given to them, no trouble would arise.
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John Castriciones, in a press conference on Thursday, said the Ati should not worry about their land ownership as “Boracay is a government property.”
“Ang lupang ipapamigay sa kanilang lahat ay government-owned land at wala silang babayaran kahit na singko (The land that will be given to them are all government-owned land and they will not pay a single cent),” he reiterated during the presentation of the project.
The 3.2 hectares in Barangay Manoc Manoc given to the Ati tribe is part of the 7.9 hectares of land originally turned over by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to DAR, Castriciones said.
Castriciones said the Ati tribe will be trained on how to make their land productive. (PNA)