HINOBA-AN – The municipal government of Hinoba-an in Negros Occidental is inching towards the possible realization of the construction of a $300 million ship recycling facility in Brgy. Bacuyangan here, as families affected by the project have started to avail of the relocation facility of the local government.
Of the 247 families affected by the project, Hinobaan Mayor Ernesto Estrao yesterday said that 151 already signified their intention to avail of the relocation site, including 30 families who havealready transferred their homes to the relocation facility.
Each family is entitled to avail of P45,000 housing assistance to build their homes, with 150 square meters given to them free of charge, Estrao said.
The Philippine Coast Guard will also soon put up its academy and naval station in Hinobaan, with a lot donated by the Negros Occidental provincial government, he added.
When the ship recycling facility operations start it will provide employment to about 10,000 town residents, with an initial 5,000 during its construction period, Estrao said.
TheNegros Occidental provincial government 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.
Residents affected by the project will be given priority for employment, he stressed.
Estrao said members of affected families may also avail of TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) training and will be given priority for job hiring, once the ship recycling facility opens.
His 10-year roadmap for Hinoaba-an includes the economic development of the town and poverty reduction, Estrao said. The realization of the project of Tsuneishi Heavy Industries is the answer to it, he said, noting that 57 percent of the town residents live below the poverty level.
Green Alert Network-Negros Island and its allied non-government and people’s organizations are vehemently opposing the establishment of the a ship-recycling facility in Hinoba-an.
They claim that 15,000 mangroves will be cut down to pave the way for the ship recycling facility, and corals, sea grasses, and the livelihoods of the community will also be affected.
Estrao said that environmental concerns are now being addressed.*
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