“P389-million wiped out like dolomite” – fishers’ group
Manila, Philippines – “Wasteful and epic failure,” This was the reaction of the militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on the current status of the dolomite “white sand” beach in Manila Baywalk yesterday after some heavy rainfall. Photos showed that marine debris and garbage were washed up along the coast of Manila Bay where the dolomite is being filled.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should admit the fact that its “beach nourishment” project, aside from being a “waste of public money, is an epic failure”.
“All the DENR has to do is to acknowledge that this controversial beach nourishment project is actually a farce and is failing miserably. It even failed on its supposed objective to beautify, more so to rehabilitate Manila Bay as it is irrelevant to reducing the coliform levels of its waters. Moreover, the project has to be terminated to avoid further expenses,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
“The garbage and other marine debris washing ashore the dolomite beach says it all; Manila Bay doesn’t need synthetic white sand. It needs concrete rehabilitation action that would restore its abundant ecosystem and effectively remove solid and other toxic wastes,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list solon added.
PAMALAKAYA reiterated its call for DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda to “resign” over his continuous justification of the “ill-planned” project, aside from “lacking credibility to become a DENR official”.
“The audacity of Mr. Antiporda to lash out at our competent yet underfunded scientists when it is himself who has no moral ascendancy to become an environmental official,” Hicap, referring to Antiporda’s tirade against UP Scientists who criticize the dolomite project, said. ###