President Rodrigo Duterte slammed critics of the multimillion-peso project dolomite beach on Manila Bay, saying it was beautiful.
“Dolomite is beautiful to the eyes, period. ‘Wag ka na magtanong kasi hindi naman ninyo kaya kung kayo,” Duterte said in his second public address this week.
[Don’t ask about it anymore because you wouldn’t have been able to do it if it had been you.]
“You had your chance, actually. For so many years, you had every chance to do it. Was there anybody willing to take the problem by its horns? Si Cimatu lang [only Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu],” he added.
The Manila Bay Beach is a project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. It is a part of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program launched by Secretary Roy Cimatu in January 2019.
It is an integral part of the integrated coastal zone management aimed at the coastal defense of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation. The budget for the project was approved before the COVID-19 pandemic. It was allocated for the beach nourishment, coastal restoration, and enhancement of the Manila Baywalk area.
Duterte: Dolomite is beautiful, period
Works on the project began in August 2020, when the government issued a Philippine Mining Service Corporation permit to transport crushed dolomite from Alcoy, Cebu to Manila. As a result, dolomite mining operations were suspended in September 2020.
The beach was first opened to the public from September 19 to 20, 2020. Afterward, it was closed again for expansion. Originally, the beach was completed by December 2020, but it was pushed back to 2021. On January 17, 2021, DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda stated that the overlaying of crushed dolomite for a 500-meter portion of the beach would take one to two months to complete.
After the onslaught of Typhoon Vamco (Ulysses) in November, the beach was dumped with garbage, with the DENR denying reports that the dolomite was washed away, saying that black sand was washed into the beach. After a series of typhoons in late 2020, the DENR replenished the beach with a new batch of crushed dolomite rock.
A new coat of dolomite sand was laid over the beach in April 2021.
On July 18, 2021, the beach was reopened to the public without an announcement.