Duterte orders distribution of idle government lands to residents affected by OdettePH

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 28 2021 05:28 PM

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed government officials to distribute idle government lands to residents affected by Typhoon Odette, which caused devastation across 6 regions of the Philippines last week.

During the second part of the President's address to the nation aired on Tuesday morning, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that the national government and Siargao’s provincial government have agreed to no longer allow people residing along coastal areas of the island to return. 

This, after their dwellings were destroyed at the height of the storm, which was the strongest to hit the Philippines this year.
“The LGU of Siargao headed by Gov Francisco Matugas and DENR agreed that the people residing in the coastal areas will no longer be permitted to return, this is for their own safety. Sinisiguro po natin na hindi na muling mangyayari itong pagwasak ng bahay nila dahil sa bagyo,” Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda told Duterte.
(This is to ensure that their houses will no longer be destroyed by a storm.)
However, tenured Siargao residents will be given parcels of lands under the Protected Area Community Based Resource Management Agreement (Pacbarma), which Antiporda said has a term of 25 years and renewable for another 25 years.
“Ito po ay ginagamit doon sa mga protected areas. Para po sa kaalaman ng lahat ang Siargao ay naideklarang protected area ito. Dito po ngayon magagamit ang Pacbarma,” Antiporda explained.
(We are using it for protected areas. For context, Siargao is a declared protected area. This is where we could use Pacbarma.)
Because of this, Duterte ordered the DENR to start distributing unused government lands within the next few months, even to those who have not been affected by the typhoon.
“Bigay na lang ninyo sa mga tao, within the next few months. Pasa mo nalang sa [Department of Agrarian Reform] para they can come in and plan for these people in the areas,” Duterte instructed the DENR.
(Let us give it to the people, within the next few months, pass it to the DAR so they can come in and plan for these people in these areas.)
“Ang aking advice is kung magrehabilitate kayo ng isang community and you want to look for a space, if it is a government land, ibigay na ninyo lahat,” he said. 
(My advice is, if you rehabilitate a community, give all the land to them.)
“Those idle government land that are not productive, better give it to the people right away. Lahat ng lupa na pwede ibigay sa tao, whether they were affected by the typhoon or not, ibigay na lang ang kaya natin ibigay.”
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) the previous day said the storm killed 378 and left a million families displaced amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 



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