‘We need vaccine, not white sand’: Fisherfolk group scores dolomite refill

Published April 14, 2021, 1:02 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) scored on Wednesday, April 14, the “highly irrelevant” beach nourishment project, a day after a fresh dose of crush dolomite was again poured at the Manila Bay.

(Photo from PTV)

The white sand initially dumped in the bay was sourced from Cebu.

“Ang kailangan ngayon ng mga tao ay kumpletong doses ng vaccine, bakit tayo bibigyan ng [second] dose ng buhangin? (What we need right now are complete doses of vaccines, so why would you give us a second dose of white sand?)” PAMALAKAYA national chairman Fernando Hicap said.

“What’s with the priority? The country still endures a public health crisis which is far from over. The people urgently need anti-COVID vaccines and adequate health care, not a continuous beach nourishment project that is highly irrelevant and an explicit waste of funds,” Hicap lamented.

He reiterated that the white sand filling is “not rehabilitation,” rather than a “whitewashing of the government’s failure to restore the biodiversity of Manila Bay.”

About 500 tons of crushed dolomite rocks were dumped over a portion of the Baywalk in Manila Bay in September 2020.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)  said the 389-million project will discourage people to litter in Manila Bay.