MANILA — Malacañang said on Monday the makeover of Manila Bay with crushed dolomite sand should be finished, despite reports that the artificial sand that government dumped there has washed out to sea.
The environment department has long allocated funds for the project, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
The Bayanihan Law, which allows President Rodrigo Duterte to realign funds to the COVID-19 response, is not applicable to the dolomite budget because it has been committed, he said.
"Pupuwedeng ma-realign ang ilang mga pondo na hindi pa po siya naa-align for a specific purpose. Pero ito po, completely bidded out and partially executed, so kinakailangan pong tapusin iyan," Roque said in a press briefing.
(Some funds that have not yet been aligned for a specific purpose could be realigned. However, this has been completely bid out and partially executed, so it must be finished.)
Oceana Philippines has urged the environment department to order its contractor to stop putting more dolomite in Manila Bay, and instead use the project funds for COVID-19 crisis.
The advocacy group said the sea has reclaimed the dolomite dumped in the area last year.
The environment department said it installed "geotubes" in the area to keep the dolomite in place, and it might be "too early" to say that the artificial sand was gone.
Video courtesy of PTV