Thousands of jobs lost in scuttled ship recycling project

BACOLOD City – Mayor Ernesto Estrao of Hinobaan, Negros Occidental said thousands of job opportunities will be lost if the Japanese ship recycling project in the town fizzles out.

Estrao confirmed that legal issues must be resolved first before the facility is realized.

But he hopes that the industrial zone in the town can also attract other foreign investors and industries.

“Any other interested foreign investors can talk to the Negros Occidental Provincial Government if they want to put up business and industries in the southern industrial zone here.”

Estrao said the $300-million Tsuneishi Heavy Industries of Japan project is a provincial government project although the relocation is being implemented by the municipal government.

He said the remaining structure owners and residents in the area where Tsuneishi will put up the project are just waiting compensation before they are relocated.

Estrao said the local government will exert effort with the provincial government in resolving the remaining issues that hinder the commencement of the Japanese project.

Earlier, Vice Gov. and incoming Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson told reporters here that  the $300-million ship recycling project will not push through for now.

Lacson said that it has taken the provincial government three years to acquire the property and it has not totally cleared the land with 18 houses still standing there.

The provincial government has allocated P20 million for the purchase of the 143,163-square meter resettlement area for families affected by the proposed economic zone where the Japanese ship recycling plant will be built.