Help displaced Boracay residents, town vice mayor says
MANILA, Philippines – The vice mayor of Malay, Aklan, appealed to the national government to help local residents who will be evicted from the wetlands and forestlands of Boracay, as the island is set to be closed for rehabilitation.
"The affected residents have no other places to go. We are hoping the national government agencies involved in Boracay rehabilitation have plans to assist them to be able to survive," Malay Vice Mayor Abram Sualog said.
This comes as the government is demolishing all structures, including houses of residents, in government-owned wetlands and forestlands. Boracay is undergoing rehabilitation as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte. (READ: INSIDE STORY: How Duterte decided on Boracay closure)
With their town's limited resources, however, Sualog said Malay faces a predicament.
He said Malay is not ready to support its displaced residents whose houses were built on lands inherited from their great grandparents but were declared wetlands and forestlands under Presidential Proclamation 1064.
Sualog said a resettlement housing in Boracay will give the displaced residents a chance to start their lives anew.
He stressed that there are no income opportunities elsewhere, aside from Boracay Island, for affected residents.
"They are porters, tricycle drivers, boatmen, vendors and mason doing out jobs mostly in hand-to-mouth existence to survive. They look up to the national and local governments for help," Sualog said. – Rappler.com