For residents, uncertainty looms over Boracay relocation plan

Some residents protest the rumored plan to relocate them outside the top tourist island

Rappler.com

5:14:28am June 4, 2018

9:24:27am October 16, 2018

AKLAN, Philippines – One month after Boracay Island was closed off from tourists, residents living in wetlands and forestlands are still awaiting the relocation plan of the government.

Some residents, however, protest the rumored plan to relocate them outside the top tourist island.

Aika Rey files this report.

FORESTLAND. The Cayetano family lives in a make-shift compound in a government-proclaimed forestland. Rappler photo

FORESTLAND. The Cayetano family lives in a make-shift compound in a government-proclaimed forestland. Rappler photo

AIKA REY, REPORTING: Patuloy ang rehabilitasyon sa isla ng Boracay, at kasama nito ang paglilipat ng mga residenteng nakatira sa mga wetland at forestland.

Rehabilitation in Boracay Island is ongoing, and it includes the relocation of residents living in wetlands and forestlands.

Tinatayang mahigit sa apat na raang pamilya ang nakatanggap ng mga notice to vacate mula sa Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

More than 400 families received notices to vacate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Ngunit sabi ng ilang residente, tubong Boracay daw sila talaga ​dahil dito na raw sila pinanganak at lumaki.

But some residents ​say​​ they are originally from Boracay as they were born and raised here.

JERALYN ASUNCION CAYETANO, BRGY BALABAG RESIDENT: Taga-diyan kami mismo. Okay lang sana kung hindi, na matagal lang kami nandiyan, na hindi kami taga-diyan. Okay lang na ilipat kami kung saan. Pero sa case namin is, taga dito talaga ang nanay namin, from kalola-lolahan nila dito talaga. Na sana kung sakaling ililipat kami, dito rin kami sa Boracay ililipat.

We're really from here. It would've been okay if we weren't, if we're only here for a long time, or if we're not really from here. It would’ve been okay for us to be relocated anywhere. But our mothers was from here. Our great-grandmother was from here. If we get relocated, we hope to still live somewhere in Boracay.

AIKA REY, REPORTING: Ayon sa mga lokal na opisyal, tinatayang nasa 85 na pamilya ang unang irerelocate sa labas ng isla.

According to local officials, there are 85 families that will be initially relocated outside the island.

Ibig sabihin nito, kailangan nilang tumawid ng dagat araw-araw, para lamang maghanapbuhay sa isla.

This means they need to cross the sea every day ​to work in the island.

Aika Rey, Rappler, Boracay. – Rappler.com