An official from the Southern Negros Industrial Estate said that its office did not have documents for the planned ship-recycling project in Hinobaan town, Negros Occidental, in response to the claim of an organization of lack of transparency from the provincial government regarding the development.
A letter of project manager Roxenne Sumanting to Green Alert Network this week said that shipyard developer Tsuneishi Heavy Industries did not submit documents for the project, only a letter of intent to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
This was in reaction to the statement of GAN this week that the provincial government is not transparent in the project to be put up in Brgy. Bacuyangan, Hinobaan, worth $300 million.
GAN has already submitted a formal request to the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, and to the Office of the President to acquire blueprints, maps, project proposals, and other related documents of the proposed ship recycling project.
GAN coordinator Randy Rojo said yesterday that they submitted the letter Tuesday, adding that despite the many times they requested for blueprints, maps, project proposals, and other related documents, the provincial government has failed to be transparent.
Rojo said he asked the SP to provide them with blueprints and other related documents for transparency on the project. However, Sumanting denied that they received any request letter asking for the documents, he added.
In the letter, Sumanting also said that despite the situation, there is an impeding development as the province is applying for an Environmental Compliance Certificate and collating documents for submission of an initial Environmental Examination Report to the Environment Management Bureau.
“The EER contains all the data for the development and you can obtain an official record from the EMB,” Sumanting added in the letter.
GAN had earlier claimed that 15,000 mangroves will be cut to prepare the site 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 the areas of interest are rich in natural resources but disaster-prone, covered by Certificate of Land Ownership Award, and owned by several agrarian reform beneficiaries.
Sumanting stated in the letter that she appreciates the organization’s thrust regarding environment preservation and sustainability, adding that GAN’s enthusiasm and environment expertise will help in the realization of the project.*MLG
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