Tuesday, April 10, 2018

On Duterte's closure of Boracay for 6 months

"Boracay island is state property. Thus, the state may decide what to do with it, close it down or take it over."

What is wrong, or correct, with this statement?

In the wall of Rotary PDG Jimmy A. Cura who defends the total closure of Boracay for 6 months, Bobi Tiglao commented there and posted his paper and asked me if he is correct or wrong in his arguments, http://www.manilatimes.net/supreme-court-2008-decision-boracay-state-property/381678/

My comment:

"Boracay is state property." Tiglao is correct. Maybe as it is a legal issue and I am no lawyer to comment on the legal technicalities of it.

"state which has ownership of this once paradisiacal island. It therefore may decide what to do with it, close it down or take it over." Tiglao is partly correct and party wrong.

There is a difference between ownership of the land and ownership of the structures and development above the land. Like public forest land, owned by the state through the DENR but industrial forestry/ mature trees are owned by private individuals or an NGO or corporate entity that was authorized by the DENR to do tree planting, growing and harvesting, subject to taxes and charges upon harvest.

The same way in Boracay, the land maybe owned by the state but the structures, hotels, restaurants, shops on top of it are owned by private individuals and enterprises. These entities were recognized and allowed by various govt agencies -- LGUs (barangay, municipal, provincial), SEC, DTI, BIR, DOT, DENR, DOH, BFP-DILG, etc -- to put up businesses there. 

If the state via the Du30 government decides to "close it down or take over", the state may do so -- ONLY upon proper compensation of the costs and investments made by private enterprises.

If one will insist on zero compensation, just close it down or take over, that is dictatorship and large-scale state robbery.

In quotation are additional points from Gov. Jimmy A. Cura:

"Bobi’s point in his well-written article is meritorious"
--> No. There was nothing in Bobi's article considering compensation for private enterprises, especially compliant ones. Hence, Bobi's paper just supports dictatorial closure, no justice to private enterprises.

"those who put up structures in complete disregard of the law are hardly entitled to invoke the protection of the very same law"
--> Then by extension, those govt agencies that allowed the building of those structures, that gave permits and renewed permits annually, that collected taxes, fees and charges year in and year out, should also be closed, if not abolished.

From JJ Soriano the other day:

"To set aside all fears about the real motives for the Boracay closure I move to ask the government to appoint Former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez to be the private sector co-Chair of the Boracay Rehabilitation Committee"

I commented that there should be just compensation for the affected businesses and jobs, short- or long-term displacement.

JJ countered that "it should be net of their payment for their contribution to the damage of Boracay."

Weird. People think that ALL enterprises there have negative externalities to Boracay, no one contributed positive externalities? Millions of people who went there and been coming back again and again only "enjoyed" negative externalities?

Now see these news reports -- that Boracay is an agri land, not a tourism-hotels-bars-golf course land. And there are many farmers there, not hotel workers, boatmen, traders and vendors.

For those who support the total closure for 6 months with little or zero compensation, something to clap and celebrate for you and Digong.

Meanwhile, an id... Jojo Estrada posted this in Gov. Jimmy's wall...

No discussion, only name-calling. If this is posted in my wall, I will reprimand the person or delete the comment. I expect Gov Jimmy A. Cura to do something about name calling in his wall but he did nothing, kept silent and retained it. "Is it fair to all concerned?" Oh well...

Finally, posted by Yendor Aloid today -- transcript of PRRD press con on boracay:


PRRD: Now if you are asking of a financial help, we are—I’m going to sign the proclamation of calamity and we can make available about 2 billion of assistance. But these are only for the poor Filipinos. I will not spend any single centavo for those inns there, hotel owners or motels. At iyong magagandang bahay, do not expect me to pay anything. That money is only intended for the Filipino. Iyong mga foreigners neither reparations or renumerations. Eh sila iyong pumasok diyan, they should know na bawal. Iyong 2 billion diyan and the other help of—each department has its own contingency plan. So mayroon magtulungan kami.

But master plan wala akong master plan diyan, linisin ko muna iyan kasi agricultural iyan. So maybe after that, I’ll give the farmers—i-land reform ko na iyan mas mabuti pa. I’ll tell you now. I-land reform ko lahat iyan then I’ll give it to the farmers. Me, I’ll give them the tractors, iyong ano—agricultural eh. Eh ‘di ibigay ko muna sa—bago ano iyang—well sabihin ninyo, how about the business? Well, I’m sorry but that is the law. The law says it is forestal/agricultural. Why would I deviate from that? Do I have a good reason to do the what? What? Mga casino? Who owns the casino? Hotels? Big ones. Who owns them? Eh mga mayaman pati iyong mga dayo. Eh agricultural man kaya iyan, eh ‘di ibigay ko sa farmers.

You want to know now? I’m going to read the announcement. It is going to be a land reform area for the Filipinos. Now, if they want to build something there, they can build in a floating—unahin ko iyon, lilinisin ko lang naman, ibalik ko sa Filipino iyong lupa nila.

PRRD: Walang akong plano diyang casino-casino. Tama na iyan kasi sobra na. May casino dito, casino doon. Give it to the people who need it most. That is an announcement: It will be a land reform area, period.

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