The $300-million ship recycling project proposed by Tsuneishi Heavy Industries of Japan will not push through for now, Governor-elect Eugenio Jose Lacson said.

Lacson yesterday 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.* (NDB)

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