LOOK: Dolomite sand poured again over Manila Bay ‘white beach’
MANILA, Philippines — A fresh dose of crushed dolomite was again poured at the Manila Bay “white sand beach” months after it first drew criticism from environment and fisherfolk groups questioning the project.
Photos taken by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Tuesday showed that heavy vehicles and equipment are again dumping crushed dolomite at the bay’s coastline, as part of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program launched by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The DENR has yet to provide details on the new coat of dolomite sand poured over the naturally gray shore.
ANOTHER DOLOMITE DOSEFEATURED STORIES
LOOK: Heavy vehicles dump fresh dolomite at the "Dolomite Beach" along Roxas Boulevard in Manila on Tuesday, April 13. The artificial white sand beach is part of a P389 million-peso project of the gov't to rehabilitate Manila Bay. 📷 Grig C. Montegrande/PDI pic.twitter.com/WjyzbTfRtB
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) April 13, 2021
The project first drew ire from the public in September last year, with fisherfolk group Pamalakaya calling the project a “completely absurd and highfalutin rehabilitation” effort that would hardly solve “the environmental degradation problems of the bay.”
Greenpeace Philippines campaigner Sonny Batungbacal also warned that covering the bay’s coastline with dolomite sand “would not do anything” and that the artificial sand could easily be washed out by storm surges or rising tides.
But when black sand was again seen over the bay’s coastline in October, the DENR said what happened was a “wash-in” and not a wash-out of the synthetic white sand. The DENR gave assurance that “engineering interventions” were put in place to ensure that the dolomite sand would stay in place where it was overlaid.
The DENR also said the white sand makeover will discourage people from throwing garbage in the area, while Malacañang said that the project will benefit the mental health of Filipinos during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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