Ati people receive Boracay land titles

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Agrarian Reform Secretary John R. Castriciones awards a land title to Ati leader Delsa Justo. Also in the photo are other members of the indigenous people.

Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan-  President Rodrigo Roa Duterte kept his promise to implement land reform in Boracay Island when he led the distribution of six Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA) to 44 members of Aklan’s indigenous people on November 8, 2018 at Barangay Manoc Manoc Covered Court, Malay, Aklan.

Duterte told the Ati group to take care of the awarded lands. “Till the land, make it productive so that you, your children and your grandchildren are assured of a quality life,” he said.

“Huwag kayong magpasalamat sa akin, magpasalamat kayo sa Diyos (Do not thank me, thank God),” Duterte added.

The new Ati landowners received a total of 3.2064 hectares of agricultural lands. These land titles are under collective ownership following the indigenous people’s tradition of preserving the property.

Agrarian Reform Secretary John R. Castriciones in discussion with Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Community leader Delsa Justo received the CLOAs in behalf of the group. “Nagpapasalamat po kami kay Pangulong Duterte, pinadala siya ng Panginoon para tulungan kami. Aalagaan namin ang lupa dahil ito ang ipapamana namin sa aming mga anak at susunod na henerasyon (We thank President Duterte. He was sent by God to help us. We will take care of these lands for our children and the future generations),” Justo said.

She said that their people was the first residents in Boracay. But they had been forced to migrate within the island because of other claimants. She now hopes for a peaceful installation to the awarded lands.

Along with the distribution of CLOAs to the Atis, Duterte also awarded CLOAs to 439 farmers from Buruanga, Tanggalan, and Malay, Aklan  which covered a total of 270.8288 hectares.

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