Gov’t to assess environmental, social impacts of ‘dolomite beach’
MANILA, Philippines — Environmental and social impacts of the controversial dolomite placement for the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program will be explored amid concerns by several sectors surrounding the project that were raised since the previous administration, Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said on Friday.
This developed as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced the completion of the placement of dolomite over Manila Bay ranging 500 meters from the US Embassy toward Remedios Street in Manila.
Yulo-Loyzaga made the assurance to ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro who asked for updates on the five-year rehabilitation program of Manila Bay during the deliberations for the DENR’s budget for 2023 at the House of Representatives.
Castro pointed out that the rehabilitation program for Manila Bay was divided into three phases, although no one from the DENR mentioned what phase the project was already under the Marcos administration.
The progressive lawmaker also stressed the impacts caused by the dolomite placement, which was initially blamed for the flooding in some streets of Manila last month. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority later clarified that the ongoing constructions of three pumping stations were the cause of the flooding.
READ: Dolomite project just one of many ecological threats seen in Manila Bay
In response to Castro’s interpellation, Yulo-Loyzaga assured her that the DENR was “looking very closely” at the environmental and social impacts brought by the Manila Bay’s rehabilitation involving the placing of dolomite sand.
“We will continue to evaluate it … using our scientific evaluation, as well as the social vulnerability evaluation that we intend to implement,” Yulo-Loyzaga said.
Jonas Leones, the DENR undersecretary for policy, planning and international affairs, said the agency had already completed the placement for the dolomite beach, with its width ranging from 30 m to 140 m “from seawall to seawards.”
Leones said at the budget hearing that the DENR would also move for the rehabilitation of water interceptors, so that the wastewater to be discharged into Manila Bay would be clean and be “treated” first.
Tip of the iceberg: Dolomite beach and flooding in Manila
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