HINOBA-AN town will lose great opportunities in terms of investment and thousands of jobs if the ship building plant eyed by a Japanese firm will back out from the area, Mayor Ernesto Estrao said.
Estrao said Friday, May 24, that so far, legal issues surrounding the proposed ship recycling facility by a Japanese investor needs to be resolved in order to jumpstart the project.
He refers to the $300 million Tsuneishi Heavy Industries project under the provincial government.
The mayor said that although relocation of local residents falls under the responsibility of the local government but the remaining structures and residents in the area to be used by Tsuneishi are just waiting for their compensations before they will transfer to the relocation area.
He added they will exert all efforts with the provincial government in order to resolve the issues that hinders the construction of the ship recycling facility.
Earlier, Negros Occidental Governor-elect Eugenio Jose Lacson, said due to pending resolutions surrounding legal issues, the $300 million ship recycling project in Barangay Bacuyangan in the town is suspended.
Outgoing Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. has requested the Negros Occidental Provincial Board to pass resolutions granting him the authority to apply for an environmental compliance certificate, along with other related clearances. His successor said there are currently legal issues surrounding the 150-hectare piece of land in the said barangay.
Lacson said, despite the provincial government spending three years to acquire the property, they have yet to clear the area as there are still 18 homes on the land.
“In the future, when the property has been cleared both of structures and legal issues, maybe they will return,” he noted.
Green Alert Network-Negros Island and its allied organizations opposed the facility, claiming 15,000 mangroves would be cut down to pave the way for the project. In addition, they said coral, sea grass, and the livelihoods of the community would also be affected. (TDE)