‘White-sand’ Manila Bay to benefit Filipinos’ mental health – Roque
MANILA, Philippines — For presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Manila Bay’s “white sand” makeover will give immeasurable benefit to Filipinos’ mental health.
Roque said this as he defended the project from critics who argue that funds for Manila Bay’s rehabilitation could have been allotted to the government’s COVID-19 response.
“I don’t buy that argument. Kasi alam mo, sa gitna ng pandemya, kinakailangan din na pangalagaan ang mental health,” Roque said in an interview with reporters over the weekend.
(I don’t buy that argument. Because you know, in the middle of a pandemic, caring for the people’s mental health is also a need.)
“I think ‘yung pagpapasyal sa mga lugar gaya ng Manila Bay na may white beach, hindi mo maqua-quantify ang epekto nyan pagdating sa mental health ng ating mga kababayan,” he added.
(I think going to places like Manila Bay that has a white beach, you cannot quantify its effect when it comes to the mental health of our people.)
Earlier, Roque said funds for Manila Bay’s rehabilitation project were already allocated even before the COVID-19 outbreak.
He also clarified that “crushed dolomite boulders” and not “white sand” was used in the project.
“Right now, Manila Bay is known for its sunset, probably the best sunset in the world. With the white beach there, it will be one of the most picturesque sceneries in the whole world,” Roque further said.
Environmentalists have questioned the project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), calling it “artificial rehabilitation” that focused on appearance.
But DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda came to the project’s defense, saying it would discourage littering in Manila Bay.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health said dolomite dust can cause respiratory ailments and other health hazards.
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