The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has created mangrove areas on Manila Bay contrary to the claims of the Marine Science Institute (MSI) of the University of the Philippines, Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said Thursday.
“They need a lot of catching to do because in the first place they are missing a lot of developments na nagawa ng DENR (that the DENR has accomplished),” he said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
Antiporda slammed the MSI for publicly saying that the DENR should have planted mangroves instead of creating an artificial white sand beach from crushed dolomite on Manila Bay.
The DENR spokesperson cited that mangrove areas have been created in areas on Manila Bay, particularly in Baseco and La Papachea.
Antipordo has been criticized and told to resign for lashing out last Wednesday at the MSI for publicly saying its observations on the artificial white sand beach of Manila Bay.
“You can write to the President or you can make a complaint against me. Now if the President said I should leave my post then I will do it,” he said.
Antiporda apologized to UP for statements he made Wednesday.
“I was emotionally carried away and I don’t think it was fair for the UP people who are working hard for our countrymen,” he said.
However, the DENR Undersecretary said he stands by with his statement about MSI.
“This couldn’t have happened kung kayo po ay nakipag-communicate po samin ng maayos, hindi nyo po dinaan sa media (had you properly communicated with us and not speak through media),” Antiporda said.
He reminded that the DENR and MSI have been partners and the MSI was even paid by DENR P210 million in 2016.
“We’ve been partners for a long time already, the DENR and the Marine Science Institute, wherein we have been paying them huge amounts of money on research, consultations, and capacity building,” he said.
“So with that, it is rightful for them to get our attention on their observation dito sa project namin sa Manila Bay rather than giving ‘yung suggestion nila straight to the media, discrediting the government on what we are doing (it is rightful for them to get our attention on their observation on the our project at the Manila Bay than making public their suggestion and discredit the government),” Antiporda said.