MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) Monday that replenishing Manila Bay's artificial sand is here to stay.
This, even as the crushed dolomite gets washed out during tropical cyclones and heavy rains in the area.
In his final SONA, Duterte said replenishing the crushed dolomite is needed because "we can't change the nature of our shores."
"That is how it is. it is not a permanent fix or form. That would occupy the place respective if it's high tide or low tide. And the only way to do it is to replenish it until we can think of a good alternative of how we can process the whole thing back to its normalcy," Duterte said, minutes before ending his more than two-and-a-half hour long address.
The Palace earlier this year said it could not drop the P389 million Manila Bay project, despite environmental concerns that it could do more harm than good.
Duterte also urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to sustain Manila Bay restoration efforts, which he claimed started in 2019, under his term.
"I urge the DENR to sustain efforts to continue working with all the LGUs to restore Manila Bay to its former glory," he said, claiming that the rehabilitation projects have reduced pollutants in the body of water.