BY AARON MACARAEG
MANILA– Fishers group Pamalakaya lambasted the “white sand project” for Manila Bay and called on the national government to stop it, raising environment and health concerns.
The “white sand” on Manila Bay turned out to be crushed dolomite boulders exported from Cebu.
“Synthetic beautification is far from genuine rehabilitation. Not even a huge amount of ‘white sand’ can hide the deteriorating environment and ecosystem of Manila Bay, which small fishers endure through depleted daily fish catch,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
Agham, a science and technology group, pointed out the geophysical hazard of the project involving the presence of foreign and synthetic materials.
Agham raised concern over the sustenance of the project given that the bay area has always been through strong waves especially during typhoons which will eventually erode the thinly spread dolomite.
On top of a global pandemic, the group also warned about public health issues posed by inhalation of dolomite that can lead to respiratory complications, such as regular cough, phlegm, wheezing, productive cough and shortness of breath.
Violation of SC order
The groups also urged the environment agency to adhere to Supreme Court (SC) mandamus which did not cite “beautification program” but a clear order “to restore the waters into SB level or waters with coliform levels suitable for human recreational activities.” Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) was also tasked to coordinate with the LGU in developing fishery resources in the area.
“The DENR and other government agencies directed by the SC to rehabilitate Manila Bay are missing the main point of the rehabilitation. The main idea was to restore the marine life and fishery resources in Manila Bay, not to carry out some ‘hard projects,’. Some traditional local politicians are fixated to it because of its big budgeting,” Hicap slammed.
The group labeled the project as “useless and a waste of people’s fund.” (Bulatlat.com)