Press Release
April 10, 2018

Recto: Observe suitable land use rule in Boracay

Whether it is urban or rural, upland or coastal, the rule we follow in land use is suitability, the optimal utilization that will yield the most income, the most jobs, the greatest economic value per square meter with the least social and environmental cost.

There are lands best for farming, for housing, for tourism, for industry, for protection as national parks. That is why one doesn't grow pechay that sells for P100 a kilo on a P200,000-per-square-meter block of land in Makati.

This appropriateness rule should also apply in Boracay. One can either gather tuba or nuts for copra in a one hectare of beachfront coconut land and earn P100,000 a year-which would hardly allow a family to scrape by-or build on that land an environmentally-compliant resort that can employ hundreds, and raise millions in taxes for the government's social programs.

There are 9.7 million hectares of agricultural land in the country today. Let us grow food there. Boracay is only 1,078 hectares small. In the nation's economic division of labor, let this be our income-earning rest-and-recreation area that is open to the world.

As to land reform, DAR's outstanding LAD or land acquisition and development balance was about 602,000 hectares a year ago. Let us concentrate there, especially on covered lands already in the advanced stage of review and processing.

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