Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda on Wednesday denied once again the critics' claim that the crushed dolomites used in the Manila Bay "white sand" project are being washed away by the rains.
What is actually happening, according to him during a public briefing, is that black sands are being "washed in."
“As of now, wala pong nawa-wash out. Wash in po ang nangyayari. Pumapasok po ang buhangin na itim. Hindi po lumalabas ang buhangin na puti,” Antiporda said in the Laging Handa briefing.
As part of its Manila Bay rehabilitation program, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) placed 500 tons of crushed dolomites to beautify and rehabilitate a small stretch of Manila Bay’s shoreline
The project received criticisms from various sectors, with some saying the crushed dolomites are likely to be washed away in the future.
Fishers group PAMALAKAYA national chairperson Fernando Hicap, who disapproved of the project from the start, urged Antiporda to "stop making a fool of himself" by defending the controversial project.
"Wash out or wash in, it doesn't matter. What's certain is that the dolomite white sand would fade away somehow,” Hicap said.
“DENR Undersecretary Antiporda should stop making a fool of himself defending the widely-criticized dolomite project,” he added.
The fishers group demands for Antiporda to address the environmental concerns being raised “fair and square.”
“Otherwise, he is just exposing himself as a complete ignorant to environmental science, and only good in being a mouthpiece,” Hicap said.
According to Antiporda, the contractor for the project can only be questioned when the project is already finished.
“We can wait for them to finish the project. In the first place, hindi pa rin po naman bayad ‘yan ng buo dahil hindi pa po tapos ang proyekto,” he said.
“Kapag natapos po ang proyekto, that’s the time po bago natin tanungin sila kung ano ang nangyari,” he added. —KBK, GMA News