Not just dolomite: DENR to spruce up Manila Bay with coconut trees, too

Who says the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is solely relying on white-colored dolomite "sand" to rehabilitate and beautify Manila Bay?

Coconut trees (Photo by Madib Zikri / Unsplash)

Apparently, the agency also wants to use the natural beauty of coconut trees to give Manila Bay more visual appeal.

On Wednesday, June 16, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu will lead a planting activity with coconut trees along the baywalk area in Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

"The activity is in relation to the continuing activities and efforts of the department for the clean-up and rehabilitation of Manila Bay," read an advisory sent to reporters Tuesday, June 15.

(Photo from DENR)

Perhaps the most famous--or infamous--component of the rehab efforts is the artifical beach along the baywalk. Crushed dolomite rocks are being used to approximate the appearance of white sand for this beach.

There has been a public outcry against the continued dumping of dolomite--which the DENR obviously had to procure--amid the country’s continuing fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Critics have said that the money used to buy dolomite should have instead been funneled to the national government's funds for social amelioration for poor families affected by the lockdowns.

The DENR's rehabilitation of Manila Bay began in 2020 with a budget of P389 million. The funds were allocated back in 2019, or the year before the emergence of the pandemic.

Officials from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Manila City government are expected to grace the coconut tree planting activity.

The officials will deliver "messages of support" during the event, the advisory read.

Coconut trees and palm trees have been used by resorts the world over to give a certain "paradise feel" to the tourist destinations.