Cebu local officials demand probe on dolomite extraction for Manila Bay

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 4) — Cebu provincial board members are demanding for an investigation on the extraction of dolomite brought to Manila Bay.

The local officials said that they are “alarmed” after revealing that the extraction of the rocks for the cleanup was done without any permit from the local government.

Provincial board member John Ismael Borgonia said that they want to know where the dolomite rocks have been extracted, and have asked the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) to investigate.

"We want to know if the one who supplied the dolomite has the necessary permit and where they secured it. Why they were able to ship the dolomite without us in the province or any LGU knowing it," Borgonia said.

The overlaying of white sand made of refined dolomite rocks on the shore of Manila Bay in Roxas Boulevard has drawn flak from different environment groups, saying that it is entirely for “aesthetic” purposes.

However, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said that the project has been studied thoroughly.

“May pag-aaral po ‘yan. Hindi naman basta-basta gagawin ‘yan to just please the eyes of the people. May mga engineering intervention na ginawa diyan,” he said in a CNN Philippines interview on Friday.

[Translation: There have been studies conducted. It was not just made to please the eyes of people. There were engineering interventions that were made there.]

According to Antiporda, the rehabilitation project has a ₱389-million funding, and clarified that it was not spent solely on the dolomite rocks.

Dale Israel, CNN Philippines correspondent in Cebu, contributed to this story.