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P5-B Japan ship recycling plant hits snag

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Hinoba-An Negros Occidental

THE PLANNED P5-billion Japanese shipbuilding recycling facility of Japanese firm Tsuneishi Heavy Industries at Barangay Bacuyangan in Hinobaan, Negros Occidental has been stalled as a portion of the project site has just been discovered to be under the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). The Negros Occidental provincial government has already allocated P20 million for the relocation of 249 affected families, while the Hinobaan municipal government already passed an ordinance reclassifying the entire 282-hectare plant site from agricultural to an industrial area. Governor Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. said the property in question is what used to be the site of the Insular Lumber Company (ILCO), which makes it an industrial area and hence not subjected to CARP. The governor said the local Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) officials knew that the province filed expropriation proceedings, but they still went ahead with their move of putting the land under CARP. Mr. Marañon said the move by DAR is against the law. Meanwhile, Hinobaan Mayor Ernesto A. Estrao said they have already acquired land for the relocation of the families that will be affected, and the site is not far from their original communities. Mr. Estrao noted that the facility is expected to generate at least 6,000 jobs. — The Freeman

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