Hinoba-an Mayor Estrao on Status of the Shipbuilding Facility Project in the Town


Mayor Ernesto Estrao said certain legal issues are needed to be resolved to jumpstart the Japanese ship building facility in the town.

He said however that the industrial zone in the town can also attract other foreign investors and industries.

Any other interested foreign investors can talk to the Negros Occidental Provincial Government if they want to put up business and industries in the southern industrial zone here,” Estrao said.

He said the $300-M Tsuneishi Heavy Industries of Japan project is under the provincial government although the relocation is being implemented by the local government.

He said 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 said if the Jsoanese project won’t push through thousands of employment opportunities will be lost, although he said the industrial zone can attract other investors.

Estrao said as far the local government is concerned, it will try to exert efforts with the provincial government in resolving the remaining issues that hinder the commencement of the Japanese project.

Earlier, Vice Gov. and incoming Gov. Bong Lacson told newsmen the $300-million ship recycling projec will not push through for now.

Lacson said that in a meeting with outgoing Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., he was told that pending the resolution of the legal issues surrounding the 150-hectare land in Salvacion, Brgy. Bacuyangan, Hinoba-an, part of the proposed Southern Negros Industrial Estate, the project is suspended for now.

Gov. Marañon has requested the SP of Negros Occidental for the passage of the proposed resolution granting him authority to apply for an additional Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and other related clearances from concerned government agencies for the initial development of the industrial estate in Hinoba-an.

Lacson said that it has taken the provincial government three years to acquire the property and it has not totally cleared the land with 18 houses still standing there.

“Maybe in the future when the property has been cleared both of structures and legal issues, maybe they (Tsuneishi) will return,” he said.

Lacson however said it will not stop the provincial government from clearing the area.

Maybe other companies will be interested to invest in it, he said.

The provincial government has allocated P20 million for the purchase of the 143,163-square meter resettlement area for families affected by the proposed economic zone where the Japanese ship recycling plant will be built.

Last year, Marañon sought an endorsement from the Sanggunian Panlalawigan to enter into and sign a Foreshore Lease Agreement for foreshore land intended for the alternative port located at Sitio Dalaguet, and miscellaneous lease agreements along the shoreline of Brgy. Asia, all in Hinoba-an.

Green Alert Network-Negros Island and its allied non-government and people’s organizations opposed the establishment of a ship-recycling facility in Hinoba-an town claiming that 15,000 mangroves will be cut down to pave the way for the project, and corals, sea grasses, and the livelihood of the community will also be affected.* (Arman P. Toga, NDB)

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