Calling it wasteful and unnecessary, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has asked the Senate to investigate, in aid of legislation, the possible environmental and health hazards of the Manila Bay Nourishment Project.
“Napakaraming ibang dapat gastusan ng pera ng bayan, hindi ang white beach project sa Manila Bay. Lumampas na sa 380,000 ang COVID cases, marami nang dumaan na malalakas na bagyo, pero pinipilit pa rin na tama ito. Ang tanong: Kailangan ba talaga ito?” Pangilinan said.
The project, popularly known as the Manila Bay White Sand Beach, is worth P389 million.
In his Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 565, Pangilinan raises concerns of sustainability, legality, and possible environmental and public health hazards of the controversial Manila Bay project.
“This project is wasteful and unnecessary. Dapat ginamit ang milyon-milyong pondo para i-supplement ang ating pandemic health response, o kaya para sa distance learning gadgets at materials ng mga guro at estudyante. Pwede rin sanang cash aid para sa milyong mga Pilipino na nawalan ng trabaho ngayong pandemya,” Pangilinan said.
SRN 565 also calls on to investigate possible liability of erring government officials involved in the said project, with probable violations on the following laws: 1. Local Government Code; 2. Philippine Fisheries Code; 3. Wildlife Conservation Act; 4. Environmental Impact Assessment System; 5. Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees; and/or 6. Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
“Hindi lang sa Manila Bay ang problema kundi na rin sa pagmimina ng mga dolomite sa Alcoy, Cebu na posibleng ikinasira ng mga coral reefs at pagkawala ng tirahan ng ilang endangered species. Sa madaling sabi, mas maraming problema pa itong dinala kesa solusyon sana,” Pangilinan said.
“Sayang ang pera, parang pinaanod lang sa dagat,” he said. Rising waves at the Manila Bay has visibly started to erode, blow or wash away the P28 million-worth of crushed dolomite rocks. There are also concerns that the strong typhoons that barrel the country every year will wash away the proposed white beach, especially following back-to-back Typhoon Quinta and Super Typhoon Rolly. SENATE.GOV.PH