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DENR-6 wants freeze in Boracay lot sale

ILOILO CITY, April 27 – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6 supports the drive to stop the sale of lots in Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan.

DENR Regional Executive Director Julian Amador said sale freeze will help preserve the remaining biodiversity in the island-paradise.

Amador claimed that the continued selling of lands in Boracay as well as lack of zoning plan made the island overcrowded.

“It is high time for the government to seriously consider the ecological threats posed by the continued selling of lands in Boracay Island …,” Amador said in a statement.

Amador said the proposal can also be the right solution to stop the degradation of the island’s main tourism asset – its environment.

Based on a 2006 Supreme Court ruling, Boracay is owned by the national government until 2016.

Once the government-owned lands are sold to private individuals, Amador said that the state automatically loses its control and jurisdiction over it.

He stressed that the government can only effectively promote public welfare on a land of its own.

Earlier, DENR Secretary Ramon Paje said they would not issue any environmental compliance certificate to any building or establishment being constructed in the island until a zoning plan is in place.

At present, a “25+5 rule” is being implemented in Boracay pursuant to the ordinance passed by the Sangguniang Bayan of Malay.

The ordinance mandates that structures are not allowed within 25 meters from the mean water mark determined between low and high tides, and within an additional five meters intended for tourist access within the beach area. (PNA) LAP/AJP/JANepomoceno/vlo

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