Palace: Manila Bay "white sand" project needs to be completed despite experts' statement crushed dolomite won't solve problem
The Manila Bay "white sand" project has to be completed since it has started, Malacanang said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this despite the statement of the UP Marine Science Institute that crushed dolomite sand would not solve the root of environmental problems in Manila Bay.
"That has been started already, so, that should be completed," he said in a televised press briefing.
He said the fund for the Manila Bay white sand Baywalk could not be realigned since the project has begun.
"The (funds) that can only be realigned are for projects that have not yet started. The budget for that, it's not only budget actually for the rich nourishment, it's actually for the entire program of government in rehabilitating Manila Bay. And as I said, this project was proposed two years ago, included in last year's budget and only being implemented (now)," Roque explained.
In a statement, the UP Marine Science Institute said there are no short-cuts to a cleaner environment.
"The use of crushed dolomite sand will not help solve the environmental problems in Manila Bay. At most, it is a beautification effort that is costly and temporary," it said.
It noted that the dolomite sand grains will erode given the hydrodynamic conditions in coastal Metro Manila during storms.
Even with the breakwater off the baywalk area, the group explained that elevated seas and larger waves during storms can penetrate and pound the Baywalk area.
"The task of cleaning and restoring Manila Bay may be daunting but it needs to be done for future generations of Filipinos to benefit from its many uses," it said. Celerina Monte/DMS