HOUSE Minority Floor Leader and Abang Lingkod Representative Stephen Paduano is pushing for the retention of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Training Center in the Municipality of Hinoba-an.
Paduano said instead of closing, the PCG Training Center should be developed for the realization of Hinoba-an's potential to become the next port hub of Asia given the fact that Singapore, which has been known as the port hub of Asia, is having a problem because of the conflict at the West Philippine Sea.
"Hinoba-an, Negros is an alternative navigational route connecting Tawi-Tawi to Zamboanga to Malaysia to Japan and the Training Center is the way to that," Paduano said.
He also revealed his plans to talk to Sixth District Representative Genaro Alvarez and former representative Mercedes Alvarez for the construction of barracks for the Coast Guard Trainees and construction of water breaker that is estimated to cost up to P400 million in the area.
Paduano said that with the help of former Third District representative and Provincial Consultant Alfredo Benitez, they are lobbying to concerned government officials for the retention and development of the PCG Training Center because it could also spur development in the area and besides, the Provincial Government has already spent P20 million for the roads.
The Municipal government of Hinoba-an has also spent some funds to develop the area.
Paduano said the move to abolish the training center came after PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. has moved to abolish the PCG-Southern Visayas, which covers Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental after the abolition of the Negros Island Region (NIR).
He said that initially, there was already initial approval for the retention of the training center that helps the circulation of about P400 million a month in Hinoba-an.
The training center now has about 1,000 trainees for this batch.