Gordon joins call to use Manila Bay rehab fund in fight vs COVID, hunger
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon is the latest to call out the move to pour fresh layer of crushed dolomite in Manila Bay saying it is very insensitive to the plight of people who are affected by the health crisis and the strict lockdown measures.
“Manila Bay beautification not now! Use money to fight COVID & hunger!” Gordon said in his Twitter account on Thursday.
“Dolomite project for manila bay is not needed right now and is sheer bad judgement. Crass, totally insensitive to the plight of our people,” he added.
MANILA BAY BEAUTIFICATION NOT NOW! USE MONEY TO FIGHT COVID & HUNGER!
Dolomite project for manila bay is not needed right now and is sheer bad judgement. CRASS , TOTALLY INSENSITIVE TO THE PLIGHT OF OUR PEOPLEFEATURED STORIES
— Richard J. Gordon (@DickGordonDG) April 14, 2021
Reports of dolomite being poured over the bayside again — months after some sectors complained that the fake white sand was washed away by several storms that entered the country in 2020 — came out last Tuesday after heavy equipment were seen pouring the sand over the Manila Bay’s beachfront area.
The Manila Bay rehabilitation issue started around September 2020 when the DENR started its Manila Bay beautification project which gained controversy as people believe it was ill-timed as the country was still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, who has been vocal about the dolomite project, also said that the government needs to put more dolomite in the area. Another DENR official also maintained that the artificial sand was not being washed out from the shore.
Now, the Philippines is grappling with a surge in COVID-19 cases, which has forced the national government to put Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and other areas in Northern Luzon over an modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
As of Thursday, the country now has 183,527 active COVID-19 cases, after 11,429 new infections were confirmed. The death toll meanwhile is at 15,594.
Most of these cases are in the “bubble” that includes the five areas mentioned; currently, 85 percent of intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients in Metro Manila are occupied, while 65 percent of isolation beds are being used.
In terms of social aid provision, the government has only approved a P1,000 per head assistance, for a maximum of P4,000 per household. However, this financial assistance has been deemed lacking by several groups.
Gordon is not the first personality or group to react on the latest overlaying of dolomite sand: scientists from the Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (Agham) said that what would address mental health issues of Filipinos would be a good COVID-19 response and not the dolomite.
It is an apparent jab at Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque who said that the dolomite project would be good for the people’s mental health.
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