Estrao: 247 families contracted to move
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
With a total of 247 Hinoba-an families expected to be relocated in order to give way for a $300 million shipbuilding facility set to be built across a 282-hectare economic zone in the town’s Barangay Bacuyangan, Mayor Ernesto Estrao yesterday said 30 families are ready to transfer to a relocation site provided by the Provincial Government.
He added, the 247 have already signed a contract to occupy the relocation site.
“The municipal government is facilitating the transfer of the affected families to the relocation site and we assured them, once the locators proceed [with] projects, those affected will be given priority for jobs,” the mayor affirmed. “They were also extended P45,000 each, a 150-square meter [of] their house is free, and free training [with] TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority).”
However, the mayor pointed out, there are 21 families who have chosen not to sign the contract.
“We respect their decision,” Estrao said.
He also assured environmental protections as concerned government agencies, including the Environmental Management Bureau, are unable to issue environmental compliance certificate if such concerns are not properly addressed.
Some environmentalist groups have expressed their opposition to the project.
Green Alert Negros earlier said of the potential job creation, “This can only promise us a cheap-paying job in tough and dangerous conditions.”
They also noted, citing research regarding ship recycling yards in other countries, workers and the public were exposed to health and environmental hazards./DGB, WDJ