Fresh batches of dolomite sand have been dumped at least twice in less than a month’s time at Manila Bay’s so-called “white beach” along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
Photos taken by Manila Bulletin lensman Ali Vicoy showed heavy equipment laying the crushed dolomite on the controversial artificial beach Monday, May 10.
A similar dolomite sand-layering also occured in Manila Bay last April 14, a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) official who declined to be named confirmed to this reporter. Last month’s activity took place even as the National Capital Region (NCR) grappled with a worrisome surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
Reports said last week that an additional P265-million budget had been earmarked for the rehabilitation of Manila Bay’s baywalk area. The dolomite beach is just a component of the project.
The amount is on top of the P389-million budget announced last year by the DENR for the rehabilitation works.
Of the P389 million, the DENR used P28 million–aroud 6 percent of the original budget–for the acquisition and transportation of white-colored dolomite from Cebu, Undersecretary Jonas Leones told congressmen in September 2020.
Dolomite start out as rocks, but are crushed to form a sand-like consistency for the purpose of beautifying beaches. The resulting grains are heavier than actual sand and therefore cannot be washed away easily, the DENR has claimed.