BORACAY ISLAND — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on November 8, Thursday, led the turnover of nearly 300 hectares of land in Aklan for agricultural development as he previously promised.
“To the agrarian reform beneficiaries from the municipalities of Buruanga, Tangalan, and Malay here in Aklan, I extend my warmest greetings to all of you as you become full-fledged owners of the lands that you have been tilling for the longest time,” the President said during the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) in Bgy. Manoc-Manoc in Boracay Island.
“Today, we acknowledge our farmers’ important role in nation-building as you work tirelessly to ensure food security across the country. I assure you that this administration will continue to protect and uphold your right to own, control, secure, cultivate, enhance, and reap the benefits [of] the agricultural lands you till,” he added.
President Duterte also directed all concerned government agencies to work towards agricultural productivity and environmental integrity through policies and programs that would cascade to the countryside.
The President said he wanted Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to go to Boracay Island to help the CLOA recipients through the provision of fertilizer and seedlings.
The administration must ensure that “no one will be left behind in its quest for inclusive and sustainable development,” he noted.
In Boracay alone, 44 families were given a collective CLOA, which means they own the property as a community.
The families will receive training on how to utilize the land for a more efficient agricultural production. The Department of Agrarian Reform will also provide them garden kits and tools to be used in production.
No need for EO to ban casinos in Boracay
After his remarks, the President entertained questions from the media and, when asked if he would issue an Executive Order (EO) to ban casinos in Boracay, he said, “no” because based on the survey from the local people, they detest having casinos in the island.
“Ang survey dito…ang mga tao ng Boracay ayaw ng sugal. So it’s ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God.’ If it is the wish of the population here that they do not want a casino, then [there] will be no casino” he said.
“I’ll just say that huwag na lang. Anyway, it’s a privilege. Whether I put it in writing or just say it verbally. It is not a requirement that I should really be, you know, writing something,” he added.
The President, however, cited that casinos tend to be “dysfunctional” and could cause a lot of anomalies and crimes such as illegal drug activities and kidnapping, among others.
“Marami diyan…policemen who are in the business of fixing things, money lenders, and people who really kidnap foreigners…as a reason why it’s almost…pag pinasok mo…Philippine contemporary scene…the hotel with the casino is not good because there are a lot of things that happen,” the President said.
“It becomes dysfunctional actually. Kidnappings, drugs and everything. And it is a place where most of the gangster around or thereabout or just stay there and commit crimes of sort,” he continued.
The President assigned Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to address these problems.
“I said there’s going to be no gambling and that’s it,” President Duterte said. ###PND