To stop the DENR from taking over Boracay through reclassification of forest/wet lands

To stop the DENR from taking over Boracay through reclassification of forest/wet lands

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During a raid on establishments that were allegedly illegally sitting on forest land in November 2020, a team from the National Bureau of Environmental Crime Division (NBI-EnCD) and personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) arrested a number of people, in what appeared to be a warrantless arrest.

Boracay Island's original classification can be found in the Malay, Aklan land registry. Therefore, DENR should honor and protect the rights of Boracay residents, and the island should NOT be reclassified as forest or wetland without a due process. However, if they wish to gain people's rights, they must pay them according to the market value of each particular property.

The locals of Boracay that were arrested was informed that if they do not pay sixty thousand pesos (P60,000.00) they will not be freed from jail. Simultaneously, their homes will be demolished starting January 2021, regardless of the ongoing pandemic. Officials from the NBI-EnCD and DENR have no legal authority to demolish or even threaten residents' homes. They also did not demonstrate equality by granting large enterprises (names withheld) a legitimate title to their land when all landowners should be treated fairly.

The majority of Boracay residents have lived in their homes since the 1920s. Around 400 homeowners are on the verge of losing their ancestral homes as a result of this incident. The aim of this petition is to stress that the current residents are not squatters and that they pay their taxes on a yearly basis. They've been pleading for help and support for months, but their appeals have gone unheard until now.

In addition to what was mentioned above, it is vital to know that the Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA) is intending to take over the entire island with political motives. They've completely destroyed a number of businesses in Boracay, and it's time to put an end to it.

 

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