The so-called “dolomite beach” will no longer be included in projects to be funded by Manila Bay’s rehabilitation program in 2022, according to an official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
According to DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones in an interview with the ANC on Wednesday, the proposed P1.6 billion is set aside to rehabilitate various river systems connected to Manila Bay.
“The P1.6 billion will comprise not for the dolomite because the budget for dolomite was already given to us during 2020 and 2019,” the official said.
Leones said the funds for the rehabilitation would be used for cleaning up creeks and estuaries.
Although some were happy with the dolomite beach, many also criticized the project, which allegedly amounted to P389-million in funding made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some environmentalists have warned of the damage that the crushed dolomite will cause to make that part of Manila bay look like “white sand.”
According to Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaigner Sonny Batungbacal, white crushed rocks will not solve the pollution problem in Manila bay.
‘Dolomite beach’ not included in 2022 Manila Bay rehab budget-DENR
The DENR had earlier said that Congress approved the project in 2019, and it went through bidding.
The agency also asserted that dolomite beach has no adverse effect on the ecosystems of Manila Bay and that the crushed rocks are not a threat to human health.
The Manila Bay Beach, or the Manila Bay Sands, is an artificial beach located in Manila, the Philippines, created through beach nourishment. It is situated along Manila Bay and is part of an overall integrated coastal zone management aimed at the coastal defense of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation. When completed, the beach will cover a total length of 900 meters of the Manila Baywalk.
According to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the project will benefit tourism, commerce, and the environment. It will also protect coastal properties from erosion and storm surges, and beach nourishment is preferred over hard beach stabilizing structures (such as seawalls and groynes). In addition, the Department of Health released a statement that the use of dolomite is not a known health hazard.