‘What if it is black sand?’ Moreno asks amid flak on Manila Bay ‘white beach’ project
MANILA, Philippines — “What if it is black sand?”
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno raised the question on Thursday as critics, including lawmakers, slammed the government’s project to transform Manila Bay into a “white beach.”
The mayor then reminded lawmakers that they approved of the 2020 budget and had looked into the funds to be used by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for Manila Bay’s white sand makeover.
“So these lawmakers, I understand their feelings. But remember, they are part of the approval of the 2020 budget last year and it was presented to them one way or another,” Moreno said over ABS-CBN News Channel, reacting on lawmakers’ call to temporarily stop the white sand project in the bay.
“Third, timeliness. Eh two years ago pa ito e. Hindi ito nasimulan nang isang linggo, isang buwan o nung January, this is two years ago, so it didn’t happen overnight. It’s just that your attention or some other individuals’ attention was called when it is white sand. But what if it is black sand?” Moreno added.
(Third, timeliness. This happened two years ago. This did not start for a week or one month or last January this year, this is two years ago so it didn’t happen overnight. It’s just that your attention and some other individuals’ attention were called when it is white sand. But what if it is black sand?)
Manila Bay’s “white sand,” which is crushed dolomite, is part of the 2019 Manila Bay Rehabilitation program aimed at curbing pollution in the bay.
Three senators previously asked the DENR to stop the white beach project after the Department of Health (DOH) said dolomite dust could cause respiratory illnesses when inhaled.
The DOH however later clarified that dolomite, in bulk state, is not a known health hazard.
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