HINOBAAN Mayor Ernesto Estrao dismissed claims that the proposed construction of a Japanese shipbuilding facility in his town will displace hundreds of residents.
Estrao made the statement after farmers and fisherfolk belonging to Kilusang Magbubukid Ng Pilipinas (KMP) said that they will launch a broad people’s campaign to oppose the establishment of the shipyard.
Estrao said he hopes the group will not be subjective and should not make conclusions right away because they haven’t seen the data yet.
Last week, Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and the executives of Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Japan for the construction of the shipbuilding facility in Barangay Bacuyangan.
Estrao said that majority of the town residents are supporting the establishment of the project.
The mayor said they launched a signature campaign last week, which was passed around the town’s 13 barangays, to determine the stand of the residents.
He said that 95 percent of the residents have signified their support to the project.
Estrao added that 15,000 households have already signed the petition and it is still ongoing.
The project is seen to address the unemployment problem in the town, he said.
Moreover, Estrao said they are conducting social preparation, a study to determine how many hectares will be needed for the project and if there are residents who will be affected.
The KMP had earlier said they conducted a fact-finding mission and found out that the proposed project will affect hundreds of residents since the target site will be on the productive agricultural and agro-forest lands of the barangay.
Green Alert Negros had also expressed opposition on the project as they questioned the legality of the MOU signing since many locals, farmers, civil society, and other groups are supposedly against the project.