By JUNE S. BLANCO
RESIDENTS of Buenavista and nearby towns better start to learn welding now.
This after Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) met with the top henchman of a company that plans to establish a shipyard in Buenavista town.
The company executive, Aumentado and Buenvavista Mayor Ronald Lowell “Sample” Tirol earlier on discussed possibilities and scouted around the district for the ideal location until the former settled for Buenavista.
Aumentado took the former’s decision as a good omen where employment opportunities for his constituents are concerned.
The solon, however, wants to balance development on one hand, and Bohol’s environment on the other.
After all, he said, the province’s ecological-cultural tourism and agriculture are its two main economic drivers.
As such, as the company started clearing some mangrove patches as part of earthworks in building the shipyard, Aumentado wrote Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Laurentino Bautista to inquire if the former already has complete papers including the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the expected big project.
The ECC itself limits a proponent to what he can – and must not – do to the environment as he develops his project site.
Aumentado clarified that he welcomes development, but he is against everything that destroys the environment.
An ECC also states what mitigating actions a proponent can do – like, among others, planting more mangrove propagules than what were sacrificed in the name of development – a shipyard in this case.
To note, the solon even filed a bill banning the establishment of coal-fired power plants in the province and especially the 2nd District.
In case the company has yet to complete its documentary requirements, he expressed willingness to assist them in producing these just so the project will be ECC compliant and therefore, environment friendly.
Unlike the coal plant that continually depletes coal resources and spews pollutants into the air when operational, the bulk of work in a shipyard is the welding together of mostly steel parts to form the ship. Discharges to the air would therefore be lesser, he pointed out.
The ECC likewise sets strict regulations on effluents – the liquid waste – that the company might discharge into the sea.
The shipyard, he said, is expected to attract other investors to the town.
This means job opportunities that will bring in money to increase the buying power or consumer spending of residents and visitors alike.
On top of skilled welders, the shipyard will also need workers for parallel industries and businesses like food preparation for the workers.
Thus, he said, money circulation in the town, the district and the province will expectedly increase.
He vowed to continue looking for similar opportunities for his constituents so that their respective breadwinners need not go to bigger cities or even abroad for the proverbial greener pastures.
It is best, he observed, that families stay together.