By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
After yesterday’s public hearing on the planned Southern Negros Development project, Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the provincial government is willing to set aside P20 million to fund the relocation of families displaced by the project.
Earlier this year, 300 hectares in Hinoba-an Barangays Obong and Salvacion were converted from agricultural to industrial land, in order to accommodate for a ship-breaking facility, which was agreed to between Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. and executives of Tsuneishi Heavy Industries, Inc. in the prior year.
He added, the funds will be sourced from the 20 percent Provincial Development Fund.
“If the amount is not enough, it will be up to the municipal government to raise a counterpart amount,” the vice governor added.
According to Hinoba-an Mayor Ernesto Estrao, each resettled family will receive 200 square meters of land, part of a proposed 14 hectares of relocation area. Costs for the land purchase and estimated development are said to be around P19.9 million, just under the provincial government’s allotment.
Last week, the provincial board approved the establishment of the Southern Negros Industrial Estate, to be imposed on expropriated lots, covering an estimated 285 hectares.
“Upon receipt, the town has one year to implement the project,” Lacson added./WDJ