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Palace says Manila Bay white sand project will help prevent floods, soil erosion


Malacañang on Monday backed the government project to cover the shores of the Manila Bay with white sand, claiming that this will help in flood control and prevent soil erosion.

Environmental groups and Vice President Leni Robredo have criticized the P389-million project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), with Robredo saying it is insulting to Filipinos who were suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“Itong ginawa po nila, ito po ay tinatawag na beach enhancement, so hindi lang po ito pagpapaganda. Itong beach enhancement pong ito ay para po maiwasan ang soil erosion at para makatulong din po sa flood control,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.

“Naglagay po sila ng mga tubo diyan na mayroong mga sand doon po sa perimeter para maiwasan nga po iyong matangay iyong mga sand diyan dahil primarily nga po, this is an anti-soil erosion project.”

Roque also said the project will give residents of Manila a source of enjoyment despite travel restrictions due to the pandemic.

“As a Manila resident, I’m happy na magkakaroon po tayo ng beautification of Manila Bay kasi kaming mga taga-Maynila ay kinakailangan naman magkaroon din ng access sa magandang beach sa mga panahon na hindi naman pupuwedeng lumabas ng Metro Manila,” he said.

He added that the project, which uses crushed dolomite boulders from Cebu, went through the proper assessment.

“Huwag naman po tayong maabala na hindi alam ng DENR ang kanilang ginagawa, dahil sila nga po ang nag-a-approve ng mga environmental impact assessments at saka mga environmental impact studies,” he said.

Environmental groups have already announced plans to ask the court to stop the project.

“Kampante naman po kami na ang DENR ay alam nila ang katungkulan nila na proteksiyunan ang kalikasan at kaya nga po pinatupad itong proyektong ito,” Roque said when told about the possible legal action by the project's critics. — BM, GMA News