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We will run after contractor of Manila Bay project if it fails to deliver



a group of people walking on a beach: People stand by the shore of the white sand beach called Manila Bay Sands along Roxas Boulevard in Manila on Sunday, September 20, 2020. The Department of Environment of Natural Resources and the City of Manila allowed people to witness the result of the Manila Bay rehabilitation. Only 70 persons are allowed to enter at a time and they can only stay for 3 minutes. The place will be closed again on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 for the project's continuation. DANNY PATA


© Danny Pata
People stand by the shore of the white sand beach called Manila Bay Sands along Roxas Boulevard in Manila on Sunday, September 20, 2020. The Department of Environment of Natural Resources and the City of Manila allowed people to witness the result of the Manila Bay rehabilitation. Only 70 persons are allowed to enter at a time and they can only stay for 3 minutes. The place will be closed again on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 for the project’s continuation. DANNY PATA

The Department of Natural and Environment Resources on Wednesday called on critics of the Manila Bay Nourishment Project to delay their criticisms until after the project has been completed as it promised to run after the contractor if it fails to deliver.

DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda cited in particular criticisms on the alleged erosion of dolomites on a part of the Manila Bay beachfront.

“’Yung area na ‘yon is under construction pa. Under renovation pa siya, under nourishment pa siya so I don’t think it’s fair na mag-judge sila kaagad diyan,” Antiporda told GMA News.

     

Also on Wednesday, Antiporda bared plans of the contractor to build a higher fence to discourage the public from taking photos of the white dolomite beach, which leads to violations of social distancing protocols.

Antiporda also assured the public that it will file cases against the contractor if it fails to deliver on the project.

“If in case that we found out na there is negligence, na na-shortchange ang taumbayan sa ginawa ng contractor na ‘yan, we will ask the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) to run after the contractor, of course,” Antiporda added.

The “white sand” portion of Manila Bay, where dolomite was used, was opened to the public for the weekend.

Crowds flocked to the area and disregarded social distancing.

The area was again closed to the public on Monday to make way for continued rehabilitation. 

Damaged reefs in Cebu?

The Knight Stewards of the Sea earlier claimed that some crushed dolomite spilled into the sea when it was being transported to Manila from Cebu, causing the sedimentation of coral reefs and damaging the local marine ecosystem. 

Antiporda said the DENR is now looking into the issue but cautioned the public against believing “false accusations.”

“The dolomite mining has been operating there for 40 years. Hindi po totoo at mali po ‘yung paratang na dahil po sa dinala sa Maynila ‘yan kaya nagkaroon ng ganyang mga problema na sinasabi nilang nasira ‘yung karagatan nila,” Antiporda said on Super Radyo dzBB.

“Titingnan po natin kung totoo but as of now, base sa pag-aaral ng ating mga expert na sinasabing pa’no naman masisira ‘yung corals kung ‘yung sinasabing bumagsak na mga sediments ay kamag-anak din ng coral which is calcium carbonate,” he added.

Antiporda also assured the public that the DENR will hold the contractor accountable if it is proven that it damaged coral reefs in Cebu.

“‘Pag-aaralan po nating mabuti para ma-satisfy yung ating mga kababayan at ‘wag po magpapaniwala dito sa false accusations,” he said.

Environmentalist and fisherfolk groups previously slammed the white sand project as an “aesthetic solution” that “does not solve pollution at the source.”  — with Julia Mari Ornedo/KG/RSJ, GMA News

 

This article DENR: We will run after contractor of Manila Bay project if it fails to deliver was originally published in GMA News Online.

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