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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 22, 2018
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Group seeks documents
on ship recycling project
BY MARK L. GARCIA

 

Environment group Green Alert Network, submitted a formal request to the national government to acquire blueprints, maps, project proposals and other related documents of the proposed Southern Negros Industrial estate, as they call for more transparency from the provincial government.

GAN coordinator Randy Rojo said yesterday that they submitted the letter Tuesday to the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, and to the Office of the President.

“Amidst the many times they requested for blueprints, maps, project proposals and other related documents, the provincial government has failed to be transparent,” the GAN press release said.

This statement was issued after the Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved last week the resolution granting authority to the governor to apply for additional Environmental Compliance Certificate and other related clearances from concerned government agencies for the initial development of the Industrial Estate and to enter into and sign a Foreshore Lease Agreement.

Rojo said he asked the council of board members to provide them with blueprints and other related documents for transparency on the project. However, Roxene Sumanting of the Provincial Legal Office denied that they have received any letter asking for the documents, the press release said.

“We are tired of being amiable to our provincial government,” Rojo said.

The group used the Freedom of Information Act or Executive Order No. 2, series of 2016 in demanding access to the documents as allowed under the Freedom of Information law, the press release said, adding that they furnished copies to both the offices of Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.

Japanese firm Tsuneishi Heavy Industries is building a $300 million ship recycling facility in the Industrial Estate located in Brgy. Bacuyangan, Hinobaan, Negros Occidental.

Green Alert claimed earlier that 15,000 mangroves will be cut to pave the way for the ship recycling project, and corals, sea grasses, and the livelihoods of the community will also be affected.

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

GAN said the land conversion is a significant issue in this project since its interest areas are rich in natural resources but disaster prone, are covered by a Certificate of Land Ownership Award, and owned by several agrarian reform beneficiaries.

“This is just the beginning in protecting one’s right to a healthy environment on behalf of the people whose constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology is violated,” the press release said, adding that GAN will continue to seek justice.*MLG

 

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