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DILG Defended the Manila Bay White Sand Project Saying Criticisms are Misplaced

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) claimed that the Manila Bay “white sand” project only cost P28 million.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año defended the beautification of the Manila Bay from the criticisms. Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya also said that the criticisms against the program were “misplaced.

“Once the project is completed, we invite the public to enjoy the rehabilitated and nourished beach and see for themselves if it is harmful,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, vice-chair of the Manila Bay Task Force, said in a statement.

Manila Bay Sand
Image Source: ABS-CBN

Año also clarified that the sand will not cause harm. He claimed that the dolomite used as artificial white sand dumped in Manila Bay is a common material used in beach nourishment” in resorts around the world, based on the report of ABS-CBN News.

READ ALSO: Why Cebu Banned Dolomite Mining – Manila Bay White Sand Issue

Meanwhile, the Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the project was only P28 million, contrary to the reports saying that the project cost P389 million. In the P28 million covers the price of dolomite sand, transportation cost, taxes, and other fees.

“That already covers the price of dolomite sand, transportation cost, taxes, and other fees. That’s the package of the cost including delivery from Cebu to Manila Bay. It’s not 389 million but 28 million,” he said in a statement.

Base on the report, the project was funded through a special fund for the purpose under the 2019 General Appropriations Act intended for the rehabilitation of the bay, The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said.

“The project was approved by Congress under the 2019 General Appropriations Act, it underwent competitive bidding under RA 9184 and was awarded prior to the global pandemic. The government cannot simply stop a project when it is already under a contractual obligation to proceed,” said Malaya.

“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,” Malaya added.

READ ALSO: Manila Bay ‘White Sand’ Project: Roque Responds To De Lima’s Criticism

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