Manila Bay's ₱389-M 'white sand' project eyed for completion by July

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 14) — The Manila Bay's "white sand" project is expected to be completed early in the third quarter, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Monday.

Asked on updates on the government's massive Manila Bay rehabilitation project, DENR Usec. Benny Antiporda said the agency is "fast-tracking everything".

"Minamadali na para sa July ay ma-open or matapos na 'yan. Rest assured na ang taumbayan ay may makikitang malaking pagbabago," he said.

[Translation: We're ramping up [the rehabilitation] so we could open or complete it by July. Rest assured that our citizens will see huge changes.]

Antiporda, in a mobile message, clarified that he was referring to the DENR's beach nourishment project.

The program covers the cleanup of the Bay area as well as the controversial overlaying of artificial white sand on the beach, for a whopping ₱389 million.

The fund allotted for the dumping of crushed dolomite rocks has been receiving criticism not just from ordinary citizens, but also government officials.

Vice President Leni Robredo, for instance, called the DENR "insensitive" for focusing on the beautification of the area at the height of the pandemic.

READ: Funds for Manila Bay's 'white sand' project could have fed 80,000 hungry families - Robredo

RELATED: Senate probe sought on Manila Bay ‘white sand’ project

Antiporda, however, previously said that the project has been studied thoroughly, with "engineering intervention."

He also stressed that the multimillion-peso funding was not solely earmarked for the dolomite rocks.