Duterte: Manila Bay's dolomite sand needs continuous replenishment

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 27) — The Manila Bay’s “white sand” will have to be continuously replenished until a good alternative is made available, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday.

In his last State of the Nation Address, the President admitted that the ₱389 million nourishment project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is not a permanent fixture and will have to be filled up again from time to time as the crushed dolomite gets washed out.

Nawawala minsan siya (It gets washed out) because of the waves so every now and then we still have to replenish because we cannot change the nature of our shores," he said. "It is not a permanent fixture there.”

Nawawala iyan (It gets washed out) and the only way to do it is to replenish it until we can think of a good alternative of how we can process the whole thing back to its normalcy,” he added.

The controversial “white sand” beach was seen as a waste of taxpayer’s money by its critics, who pointed out that the DENR merely focused on aesthetics instead of the environmental concerns of Manila Bay.

Environmentalists also noted that the overlaying of dolomite sand will not solve the solid waste problem of the Manila Bay.

Early this year, a fresh batch of crushed dolomite was dumped along the Manila Baywalk, with the new haul covering darker-colored sand in the area.

The DENR assured that measures are in place to make sure that the dolomite will not be washed away by storms and high tide.

Undersecretary Benny Antiporda maintained that the multimillion-peso project was thoroughly studied and that its budget is not only for dolomite rocks.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque also defended the project, noting that this will also prevent soil erosion and help in flood control.