2022 budget for Manila Bay rehab won't include dolomite: DENR
MANILA – The P1.6 billion proposed budget for the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Project in 2022 won’t include funds for placing dolomite on its shores, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said.
Instead, the budget will focus on rehabilitating waterways that lead to the bay, Undersecretary Jonas Leones said.
“The P1.6 billion will comprise not for the dolomite, because budget for dolomite was already given to us during 2020 and 2019. But the P1.6 billion we are asking for Congress, will comprise, one, the rehabilitation of the river, the different river systems connected to the Manila Bay.”
“Second, this will be used for the cleanup of creeks and esteros,” he said on ANC’s “Rundown.”
Leones noted that the DENR has cleaned up 36 creeks and esteros connected to the different river systems that end up in Manila Bay. But he stressed that more needs to be done.
“There’s still a lot of creeks, totaling 200+ creeks and rivers that we need to undertake the cleanup,” he said.
He said the P1.6 billion will also help fund the construction of water treatment plants that will address the problem of contaminated and polluted water entering the bay.
Leones added that the P1.6 billion will also help solve Manila Bay’s water hyacinth problem.
“If you will notice, one of the major problems we are encountering in the rehabilitation of the Manila Bay is a lot of water hyacinth coming from Rizal and Laguna are ending up in Manila Bay,” he said.
“So we will be constructing a facility wherein we can control and remove the water hyacinth, and eventually we are looking at some research on how we can take advantage of this water hyacinth.”
Leones said the shores of Manila Bay do not need a fresh coat of dolomite.
“We have been observing, we have been monitoring the movement of the dolomite and I think based on our experience during the Ulysses typhoon and other typhoons, there’s no change in the beach nourishment area. Maybe people are noticing that we are grading the dolomite, then they thought that we are adding some dolomite. But the truth there is, we are just fixing, we are just cleaning up the beach nourishment area,” he explained.
“But I think with the geointerventions we have installed in the area, we are confident that even during strong typhoons and strong waves, I think they cannot move the beach nourishment area or they cannot be eroded,” he said.
“It can’t be eroded because prior to our project implementation, we have already studied it and we have an expert in doing these nourishment areas. The (Department of Public Works and Highways) has really studied the water current there and I think with the installation of geotubes and some geo interventions, we are confident that the beach nourishment will not be affected by strong typhoons.”
Leones explained that they only place sandbags in the area to protect it while they complete their work.
He said these will be removed once important pipes are installed there.
“We are not yet complete with our work. What I’m saying is that once we have completed the work in the Baywalk, once we have already completed the installation of the HDPE pipes in the outfall in Faura and Remedios, those sandbags will be removed,” he said.
“The sandbag is not a permanent structure there. So we will remove it, it’s just a temporary infrastructure,” he added.