DENR seeks over P1.6-B budget for Manila Bay rehab program
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is seeking a P1.67-billion budget for the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program, which includes the controversial dolomite project.
During its budget presentation before the House committee on appropriations on Monday, the DENR said it is proposing P1,673,503,000 for the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
The amount is a part of the proposed P25.295-billion budget of the agency for 2022.
Aside from the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program, other priority projects of the DENR are as follows:
- Clean Air – P143.01 million
- Clean Water – P315.49 million
- Solid Waste Management – P1.073 billion
- Enhanced National Greening Program – P3.689 billion
- Intensified Forest Protection and Anti-Illegal Logging – P696.41 million
- Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation – P1.016 billion
- Scaling up of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management – P271.801 million
- Geohazards, Groundwater Assessment and Responsible Mining – P407.65 million
- Improved Land Administration and Management – P415.345 million
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 President Rodrigo Duterte has publicly declared support for the dolomite project, recently saying that “dolomite is beautiful to the eyes.”
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