CEBU CITY, Philippines—A company owned by businessman Cedric Lee, the alleged perpetrator of the mauling of comedian and television host Vhong Navarro, was the frontrunner in developing a waste-to-energy facility in the controversial Balili estate in barangay Tina-an in Naga, Cebu.
The administration of former Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia awarded Waste Management Inc. (WMI) the contract to build and operate the waste disposal facility two years ago.
But the proposed venture never materialized after the Balili lot became subject to a graft case against Garcia.
Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III confirmed that he has met with Lee in December last year after the latter tried to revive the waste-to-energy proposal, this time in Danao City.
“I met the guy already. He came to my office last year to inform me of their waste to energy facility. But I checked the records, there was a failure of bidding,” he said.
“There is no contract between his company and the province,” he added.
The waste-to-energy facility was supposed to be one of the structures in the Balili estate, which included in the Tina-an Eco-zone Development Plan.
In February last year, WMI proposed to the province’s Economic Enterprise Council (EEC) to build the waste-to-energy facility in Danao City instead of its original location in the Balili estate after learning that the lot faced legal problems.
However, the EEC deferred WMI’s request to lease a five-hectare property near a residential area.
The proposal also received opposition from environmental groups saying the facility is technically a waste incinerator and would release harmful persistent organic pollutants like dioxins and furans which are carcinogens.