Cebu Province eyes marine park, port, landfill for Balili property

November 12, 2010 1:05 pm 

CEBU CITY, Nov. 12 -– The Cebu Provincial Government is planning to develop a seaport, a landfill, a waste-to-energy facility and a marine park in the controversial former Balili resort in Tinaan, City of Naga in southern Cebu.

At least P50 million of the P3-billion proposed budget for next year that Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia submitted to the Provincial Board (PB) was set aside for a proposed seaport.

A copy of the proposed development plan shows the province intends to reclaim 9.7 hectares. Along with a donated lot, the property spans 27.25 hectares.

Cebu Capitol spokesperson Atty. Rory Jon Sepulveda said the governor prefers a private-public partnership and the province is still working on the requirements for the area to be declared an economic zone.

Their main goal, he said, is to develop the former resort into an industrial zone with "emphasis, however, on sustainable development and eco-friendly industry."

Environmentalists have questioned the province's purchase, for about P98 million, of the former resort in Naga, most of which turned out to be submerged in seawater or with mangroves.

They warned against a plan to let a Korean power company dispose of its coal ash there, and also pointed out parts of the property were mangrove areas that should not have been titled.

Sepulveda said even with the development plan, the actual use of the property will depend on the offers or interests of private sector players who may invest in the property.

The plan, he said, identifies which areas will be reclaimed for about 9.7 hectares for an industrial zone.

"The landfill will continue and it will be used for the coal ash from Kepco (the Korean Electric Power Co.). That area is already identified," Sepulveda said.

The Province has developed the access road that will lead to the property, he said.

Some areas were presented to prospective private sector partners, for a waste management facility.

Sepulveda said there's no concrete proposal yet, but that the governor told interested companies to present a proposal for a joint venture or a build-operate-transfer project.

The plan also shows that fishponds A and B will be developed by Kepco as a landfill facility, with a proposed area of 9.9 hectares.

There's also a site for a waste-to-energy facility, occupying 5.3 hectares. The proposed eco-park will occupy 2.1 hectares.

Earlier, Provincial Planning and Development Officer Adolfo Quiroga said the province has earmarked P15 million for the site development of the former Balili property. (PNA) LOR/PTR/EB/bh

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