Currimao to block relcamation project in Ilocos Norte

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The local government unit of Currimao has expressed objection to the proposed reclamation project of the Omnico Resources Inc. (ONRI), a private seaport located within the boundary of Currimao and Badoc towns.

The management of ONRI wants to reclaim an area covering a total of 112 hectares.

Both the local government units (LGUs) of Currimao and Ilocos Norte previously endorsed the reclamation project but there was a sudden turnaround on the part of the Currimao municipal government.

Members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Currimao have unanimously passed a resolution rescinding a March 10, 2016 resolution interposing subsequent objection to ONRI’s plan to expand its existing 6.4-hectare seaport in the town.

To date, the ONRI has not yet started the reclamation project pending the release of its construction permit by the Currimao LGU under Mayor Gladys Cue.

In an interview Monday, lawyer and Provincial Board Member Da Vinci Crisostomo, chair of the committee on laws, said it is the right of the municipal council to express its thoughts on the matter.

“They may have valid reasons to justify their objection,” said Crisostomo, as he explained that there would be a greater disaster if the municipal leaders are opposing the project without any legal basis.

He added that the latest Currimao resolution will be referred to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan committees on laws, environment, and special projects for proper action.

Reached for comment, Mayor Cue chose not to issue any public statement on the matter yet.

Some observers, however, noted that there are groups opposing the reclamation due to some environmental concerns, particularly on the use of furnace slags imported from Taiwan.

In 2016, the late Mayor Rosario Go and and members of the Currimao town council led by then Vice Mayor and now Mayor Cue approved the proposed seaport’s reclamation plan.

Under the proposed project, ONRI will be using Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) slag aggregates to reclaim part of the sea.

The company assured that based on test results, the furnace slags have no harmful substances and there had been no finding of a potential damage to humans and the environment. (PNA)

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