Isko Moreno: Manila Bay white sand project 'not harmful'

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 09 2020 07:41 PM

Workers spread white sand along a portion of the Baywalk in Manila Bay on Sept. 3, 2020 as part of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program by the DENR. The white sand, which comes from Cebu, will be spread from the banks of the bay near the US Embassy to the Yacht Club. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA--The crushed dolomite spread out as artificial white sand along a portion of the Manila Bay involved bigger particles, which may not necessarily be a health hazard, Manila Mayor Francisco 'Isko' Moreno said Wednesday.

Moreno said he got the information from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau following complaints from environmental groups warning of the alleged dangers of the white sand project by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). 

The Department of Health also clarified Wednesday that the dolomite used in the jaywalk beautification project was "100 times bigger than dust" and won't pose danger to the "general safety of the public."

"How can I act on something that is not illegal, that is not harmful?" Moreno told an online news forum. 

Groups earlier cautioned the allegedly negative impact of the P389-million "beach nourishment" project on the environment, especially since crushed dolomite was "not natural" to the Manila Bay.

The artificial white sand is also expected to be washed out during typhoons or high tide, said geologist Mahar Lagmay. 

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News file

"Kung may kapabayaan talaga, halimbawa inanod, eh di magmumukha silang katawa-tawa," Moreno said. A DENR undersecretary earlier assured the public that engineering work would prevent this.

(If there was negligence, for example, the sand is washed away, then they would look foolish.)

"It will be quite unfair to anybody who works in government. Madali naman mag-akusa, madaling magbintang e, but it has to be proven," he added.

(It's easy to accuse people, to pin blame, but it has to be proven.)