RESIDENTS of three coastal barangays in Minglanilla expressed opposition to a proposed 100-ha. reclamation project to be built in the town.
The concerned residents expressed their opposition during a public hearing conducted by the Ming-Mori Development Corp. at the Minglanilla Sports Complex yesterday morning.
Brother Peter Simon Francis Jardinico of the Franciscan Friars of Charity and representative of the concerned residents told reporters that the proponent and the local government unit failed to assist sectors that could be affected by the proposed reclamation project.
But officials of the town and the proposed reclamation project’s developers assured that they are willing to listen to the affected residents.
On the other hand, officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 disclosed that Ming-Mori Development Corp. (MMDC), which is implementing the project, has yet to apply for an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) and an area clearance for their project.
During the public hearing yesterday, Jardinico said the developers have been conducting dredging operations on the town’s coastal areas, which has affected the town’s local fisheries and aquatic resources.
With around 3,000 residents living in three coastal barangays feared to lose their homes to the proposed reclamation project, Jardinico expressed concern on whether the LGU and the developers have provided a relocation site for the affected settlers.
If necessary, Jardinico said that he and the concerned residents plan to file a complaint against the LGU and the developers to stop the project.
In another separate interview, Minglanilla town administrator Concordio Mejias said that if Jardinico and the concerned residents will file a complaint, they will welcome it.
But Mejias said that if needed, they can convince the developers to provide a suitable relocation site for the affected residents.
In a separate interview, Jose Soberano III, MMDC chairman, said they expected that there will be residents who will opposed the proposed reclamation project.
But he assured that aside from providing investment opportunities to the town, it could also provide employment to its residents.
Soberano said the proposed 100-ha. reclamation project will serve as an “industrial estate” and will cater to both local and foreign investors.
If all requirements for the development will be complied immediately, construction of the proposed reclamation project could start next year and could be finished within three years, Soberano said.
As of now, the project proponents are still securing the issuance of an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The public hearing was one of the requirements needed for the issuance of an ECC, Soberano said.
Soberano said they already secured the endorsements from the Minglanilla municipal council and the Cebu Provincial Board.
They will need these, among other requirements, to secure the go-signal from the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) to immediately start reclaiming.
The DENR 7 is reminding the MMDC to immediately secure an ECC and an area clearance from their office for the proposed reclamation project to proceed without hitches.
Dr. Eddie Llamedo, DENR 7 spokesperson, said that based on their records, MMDC has yet to apply for an ECC for their project.
The project developers have yet to secure an area clearance, which is needed for reclamation projects, Llamedo said.
Llamedo said that MMDC will need to secure the area clearance before DENR Secretary Gina Lopez.
The project, which is under a public-private partnership (PPP), is expected to cost around P5 billion.
The proposed reclamation project, which will affect Barangays Calajoan and Tulay, will be composed of commercial, institutional and utilities and residential/mixed use zones.
Around 51.84 has. will be dedicated as industrial zone, which will house around 54 industrial manufacturing and assembly plants of both local and foreign locators.
Once completed, about 49 percent of the salable land will be owned by the developer while the rest will be shared by the PRA, Minglanilla and the Cebu Provincial Government.