Casiño asks Antiporda: Would you separate dolomite and black sand just like soiled clothes?
MANILA, Philippines — After a government official claimed that the washed appearance at Manila Bay’s dolomite sands was merely due to black sand washing in, a former lawmaker sarcastically asked whether the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would separate it.
In a tweet on Wednesday, former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño asked DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda whether they would segregate the white dolomite sand from the black sand — just like the sorting of dirty clothes.
“OK. So paghihiwalayin nila yung puting buhangin sa itim na buhangin? Ano yan, labada?” Casiño said.
(OK. So would they now separate the white sand from the black sands? Is that like sorting soiled clothes?)
Casiño was reacting to Antiporda’s earlier statements, in which he shut down claims that the crushed dolomite was being washed away.
After nearly continuous rains brought by Tropical Storm Nika and now Tropical Depression Ofel, the white sands seemed to have a black gradient over it, prompting people to doubt whether beautifying Manila Bay was simply a waste of public funds.
But Antiporda said those insinuations are a mere lie.
“Nakita po na puro kasinungalingan yung lumabas na nag-wash out yung white sand natin,” Antiporda said in a televised briefing.
(Our white sand supposedly washed out was only a lie.)
“Ang nangyari po talaga is wash in. Pumasok po yung itim na buhangin at pumatong sa white dolomite,” he explained.
(It was washed in. The black sand covered the white dolomite.)
The dolomite project, costing around P349 million, has led to widespread government criticism for unnecessary spending. Officials like Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Joel Villanueva said that the funds could have been used for other pressing needs.
While Ofel is not expected to hit Metro Manila directly, its track is expected to move over the inland seas of Southern Luzon — which lies near Manila Bay. [ac]
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