THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has defended the use of dolomite in the Manila Bay project describing all the criticisms as misplaced.
Secretary Eduardo Año who is vice chair of the Manila Bay Task Force came into the defense of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for placing crushed dolomites to beautify and nourish a stretch in the historical bay’s shoreline under the government’s rehabilitation mission.
Critics claim that the dolomite dumping near the Baywalk strip along Roxas Blvd. is potentially a health hazard and impractical since it is being implemented amid a pandemic.
Año however said that dolomite is a common material used in beach nourishment in many parts of the country and even the world employed in many beach resorts.
“Moreover, the Department of Health (DOH) has already clearly stated that the dolomite used in Baywalk is bigger than dust, which doesn’t get suspended in air, and therefore is not harmful to individuals. Once the project is completed, we invite the public to enjoy the rehabilitated and nourished beach and see for themselves if it is harmful,” he said.
According to the DOH, only dolomite in dust form can be an irritant and that the size of the dolomite sands in the Manila Bay project is 2 mm to 5mm which is 100 x bigger than dust. It also stated that dolomite in its bulk state is not a known health hazard.
DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, for his part, clarified that — contrary to the claims of critics — only P28 million of the P389 million allocation was used for the crushed dolomite rocks.
That amount he said already covers the price of dolomite sand, transportation cost, taxes, and other fees including the package of the cost including delivery from Cebu to Manila Bay. It’s not 389 million but 28 million.
“We urge the critics to study the issue first before they make baseless allegations against worthwhile government projects. We welcome any investigation into this project whether in the courts of justice or in the court of public opinion. All this criticism is misplaced,” he said.