The bishop also echoed the concerns of some environmentalists that the synthetic white sand could be washed away by the waves, especially during typhoons. Metro Manila (The Philippine Patriot, September 2) — On September 2, the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) unveiled WHITE SAND FIASCO: Dolomite and the Issues about the Manila Bay Makeover - The Philippine Patriot ", [Translation: We never expected (the) COVID-19 (pandemic) would happen. © 2015 Nine Media Corp. CNN name, logo and all associated elements ™ and © 2015 Cable News Network. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said it would fill Manila Bay’s shore with white sand, which are actually refined dolomite rocks sourced from Cebu province. Environmental groups have slammed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' project, which involves overlaying "white sand" or crushed dolomite boulders in Manila Bay as part of its rehabilitation program, saying it is entirely for "aesthetic" purposes. Norman Cruz Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya also said the project was only worth P28 million, contrary to the P389 million posted in earlier reports. ], Is PH ready to build its own warships? The rehabilitation project that started two years ago has drawn controversy over its cost and environmental concerns. Dolomite grains were laid as a topping to the naturally gray coastline of a portion of the Manila Baywalk as part of a P389-million “beach nourishment” project. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said it would fill Manila Bay’s shore with white sand, which are actually refined dolomite rocks sourced from Cebu province. And as I said, itong project na ito was proposed two years ago, included in last year’s budget and only being implemented,” Roque said. However, hours after the announcement, the project drew the public ire. Roque cites Sinovac’s higher efficacy in Indonesia, Turkey. The Manila Bay “beach nourishment” project has a jaw-dropping budget of P389-million and social media is abuzz with the controversy. The photos were taken in response to social media criticisms that the recent typhoon’s strong winds and heavy downpour could wash the dolomite rocks out into the bay. Impacts of Beach Nourishment using Dolomite Sand Dolomite is a naturally occurring mineral and has a low carcinogenic level to humans. The Department of Health likewise expressed concern over crushed dolomite possibly causing adverse health effects such as eye irritation, respiratory problems upon inhalation, and gastrointestinal illnesses upon ingestion. Roque, however, argued that the initiative is not solely about Manila Bay's beautification. In September, during the height of the dolomite dumping controversy on Manila Bay, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu suspended the operations of two dolomite mining firms in Alcoy, Cebu, where government sourced the synthetic white sand. People visit a segment of the Manila Bay covered with white sand made of crushed dolomite when it opened to the public on Sept. 20, 2020. “For comparison, the average cost of a two-lane road is around P25 million to P30 million per kilometer. On September 2, the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) unveiled its plan to form a 500-meter-long artificial white sand beach along the Roxas Boulevard coast of Manila Bay. The University of the Philippines Marine Biological Society (UP MBS) also condemned the project, “which does nothing to actually improve the worsening environmental and poverty conditions of the inhabitants of Manila Bay”. “We are not even certain if this ‘white sand’ will be able to stay there since tons of trash fill up Manila Bay whenever there are typhoons,” Pabillo said. A Catholic bishop said that the government’s massive spending to overlay ‘white sand’ on the shores of Manila could have been better used to aid those greatly affected by the health crisis. Tuchie Gaddie) "As a Manila resident, I'm happy na magkakaroon po tayo ng beautification of Manila Bay kasi kaming mga taga-Maynila ay kinakailangan naman magkaroon din ng access, no, sa magandang beach sa mga panahon na hindi naman po pwedeng lumabas ng Metro Manila," Roque said in a virtual press briefing on Monday. Dolomite is a Threat to Human Health While white sand is an addition for a luxurious Manila Bay, the mixed varying silica levels present pose a threat to human health. Banner image of dolomite sand over Manila Bay, Philippines. However, the Palace spokesperson reminded that the project's funding was approved way before the coronavirus health crisis happened, as it was part of the 2020 national budget approved last year. The P389-million project, which covers a 500-meter stretch of the bay’s shorelines with artificial white sand, has received flak from the public because of its timing and health risks. DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda earlier said the Manila Bay rehabilitation project has a ₱389-million funding, which wasn't spent on the dolomite rocks … Multiple sources state the palm-shaped offshore island, a product of land reclamation, was made using sea sand and rocks. "Hindi naman po natin inasahang na magkakaroon ng COVID-19, no," Roque explained. “The recent effort of dumping dolomite sand on a reclaimed part of Manila Bay is not the best way of spending government money; a critical resource during the pandemic that could have been put to better use by spending for the needs of medical frontliners and the millions of our hungry fellow Filipinos,” the experts said. “There are many incorrect things with this project, foremost is that it is not attuned with the current predicament of our nation,” he pointed out. It also aims to prevent soil erosion and help in flood control.]. Meanwhile, in a separate briefing on Monday, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the funding could have been used instead in purchasing gadgets for students and teachers shifting to distance learning. ", [Translation: What they did is called beach enhancement, so it doesn't just involve beautification. “Iyong budget po kasi diyan, hindi lang siya budget actually for the beach nourishment, it’s actually for the entire program of government in rehabilitating Manila Bay. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All rights reserved. The Pamalakaya pointed out that mangrove planting costs at least P28,881 per hectare, which means that the P389-million budget for the Manila Bay “white sand” filling would be sufficient to turn13,469 hectares of Manila Bay into mangrove forests, which could serve as “fish sanctuary, pollution filter, and coastal communities protection.” So di lang po ito pagpapaganda," he said. Meanwhile, some officials noted the hundreds of millions of pesos reportedly allocated to the project could have been used for other matters instead. DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones told the Appropriations panel that the agency spent P28 million for the acquisition and transport of dolomite from a municipality in Cebu. [Translation: As a Manila resident, I'm happy the beautification of Manila Bay is happening because we Manila residents also need access to nice beaches while we aren't allowed to leave Metro Manila.]. Not true. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the administrator of the Manila archdiocese, said the P389 million project is ill-timed, pointing to the coronavirus pandemic the country is facing. Manila Bay (The Bay) is somewhat close to her! According to Cimatu, the DENR has already spent P28 million for the purchase of dolomite from the total budget of P389 million for the Manila Bay beach nourishment project. He said this is just 6 percent of the entire budget of the Manila Bay rehabilitation effort, which is P389 million. 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