MANILA – The pulverized dolomite laid over a portion of Manila Bay for an artificial beach project remains intact, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said Thursday, amid allegations the overlay was washed out following a spate of heavy rains.
"Based on our inspection last Monday, we observed that the placed dolomite in the beach nourishment are still intact,” Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones told ANC’s “Matters of Fact”.
“And that we observed that our geo-interventions in the beach nourishment are still there and serving the purpose of protecting the placed sand from heavy rains and strong waves.”
Leones clarified that the artificial sand was not swept to the sea, but instead the shore was covered by black sand.
Engineering interventions put in place in the area such as “geo tubes” will allow the project to withstand any weather disturbances, he added.
Despite a slew of criticism of the P28-million beautification project, the DENR has ordered the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to fast-track its completion.
“We are committing to the public that by yearend we can finish all activities in the bay walk,” Leones said.
He said they still need to dump additional powdered dolomite rocks to complete its 1-meter thickness.
The white sand project is composed of 3 layers – the bottom and middle layer are black sand while the top layer is white sand.
Asked if the project was a bad proposition to begin with, Leones had this to say.
“I don’t want to say that this is a mistake. Kasi it’s too early to determine whether there is a wrong move on our part,” he said.
“What we are focusing now is the fact there remains a mandamus case issued by the Supreme Court ordering all agencies to clean up Manila Bay and there’s also a directive from the President to fast track the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.”