Those residing in the Forestland of Boracay Island must vacate now or else the NBI will arrest them -BIATF

Those residing in the Forestland of Boracay Island must vacate now or else the NBI will arrest them -BIATF

People who are currently living in the forestland of Boracay Island are advised to leave now as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will charge and arrest them if they don't.

In an interview with Radyo Todo, Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force General Manager Natividad Bernardino said the authorities have already notified the people living there to vacate.

She added that the NBI coordinated with the BIATF regarding this matter, and they support the NBI's decision as it involves the rehabilitation of the Island.

However, Bernardino clarified that even if the NBI is in coordination with the BIATF, they cannot stop their operation since the NBI has its own mandate.

Recently, the NBI raided four illegal infrastructures built in the forestland, wherein they arrested three Filipinos and one German national.

At that time, Special Investigator Rizaldy Rivera said they apprehended the infrastructure owners since they have no land title and Forest Land-use Agreement for Tourism Purposes (FLAGT) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Regarding this, Bernardino stated that for now, no one could apply for FLAGT.

Currently, FLAGT is suspended, and its removal from suspension is not yet on the Task-Force's agenda since their priority is the complete rehabilitation of the Island.

The BIATF's main priorities are to:
- clean up the non-buildable zones
- ensure a 100% compliance for the 25+5 easement rule
- complete the road improvement project of the Department of Public Works on Highways (DPWH)
- finish the drainage improvement of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)
- response to the pandemic before their term ends in June 2022

As for the infrastructures in the forestland, no demolition will take place since several buildings are worth billions of pesos.

”Hahayaan lang muna kasi these are worth billions of pesos yong mga structures na yon sa Mt. Luho. So mas maganda idaan na lang sa korte yong magiging desisyon dyan,” Bernardino said.

(Leave it for now since these are worth billions of pesos, those structures in Mt. Luho. So it's better to just proceed with this in the court to decide regarding this matter.)

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