Bogus agrarian reform in Boracay

Contrary to President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim in his fourth State of the Nation Address, it is not true that land reform has been implemented in the Boracay Island, Aklan.

In reality, 18-hectares of land subjected to agrarian reform have not yet been distributed to beneficiaries. According to De­partment of Agra­ri­an Reform (DAR)-Wes­tern Vi­sa­yas Di­rector Step­hen Leo­ni­das, these are yet to be distributed to indigenous settlers who are not part of the Ati tribe in Boracay.

On November 2018, only 3.2 hectares of land (not even 1% of the 1,032-hectare island) have been distributed to 44 families that are members of the Bo­racay Ati Tri­bal Orga­niza­ti­on.

An anthropological research exposed that the Atis are the original inhabitants of Boracay and they lived there even before the entry of the Visayans and Spanish colonizers in the island. This, however, is contested by minority settlers (non-Atis) who are asserting their right to the land which is to be distributed.