A rock garden was added as a new attraction to the controversial dolomite beach at Manila Bay.
Phase 1 of the Manila Bay beach enhancement project, part of which includes the controversial dumping of dolomite sand, is 80 percent complete, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Wednesday.
The artificial white sand on Manila Bay beach is 140 meters long and 1 meter thick.
According to the authorities, it is just being leveled, and they are just waiting for the final batches of dolomite to arrive.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu was also proud of the water purification in the said part of Manila Bay.
From the millions most probable number or MPN per 100 milligrams fecal coliform water level, it dropped to 142 mpn in June, and he said because it was in dolomite.
“We were able to prove that it can clean the water. The water here is definitely cleaner than the water doon sa wala pang dolomite. Dito namin na-register yung 142, dito pinakamababa. It has a distinct character na finifilter niya yung water by itself,” Cimatu explained.
But he said it is still not enough to open Manila Bay to the public.
Rock garden new attraction at Manila Bay dolomite beach
He said it would only be opened, and the public will be allowed to swim in it when it reaches 100 MPN, which is a safe or acceptable level.
The DENR also planted 10 coconut trees along the baywalk.
Last month, Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones said it is too early to say whether the dolomite sand dumped in Manila Bay has been washed out.
According to Leones, the “dolomite beach” project is not yet complete, and “geotubes” have also been installed to ensure that artificial sand is not eroded.
“We have put in place ‘yong mga geotubes to ensure na ‘di mawa-wash out ‘yong mga dolomite. Siguro too early to say na nag-wash out na siya,” said Leones.
After the civil society organization, Oceana Philippines said in April that the artificial white sand is eroding.
“From December 2020 to February 2021, this dolomite beach has eroded by at least 300 square meters. They are refilling it again and even extending the area,” said Oceana Vice President Gloria Ramos.