White sand project in Manila Bay untimely amid pandemic – bishop

Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo is disappointed with the untimely project of beautifying and placing artificial white sand in Manila Bay as part of its rehabilitation amid the crisis facing the country from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bishop said in an interview with Radyo Veritas that it is not appropriate to give more priority and allocation of funds to the said project because many are suffering and starving as a result of the health crisis.

“Ngayong panahon po na napakaraming mga tao na walang trabaho, na walang pagkain, tapos kung gagawa ng ganyang project na aabutin ng higit P300 million para lang sa white sand, parang hindi po angkop sa ating panahon ngayon,” said Pabillo sa Radio Veritas.

“So ‘yan po’y marami pong mga hindi tama sa paggawa po ng project at lalung-lalo na sa’ting panahon ngayon na hindi angkop sa kalagayan ng ating bayan. Kaya kung ang DENR ay may pera, itulong nya sana sa mga pagbibigay ng trabaho, pagbibigay ng pagkain sa mga nangangailangan,” added Bishop Pabillo.

The bishop explained that it is also not sure that the said white sand would last and preserve the beauty of Manila Bay because it will only be filled with garbage when the devastates the country.

White sand project in Manila Bay

“Hindi pa naman natin sigurado na ang white sand na ‘yan ay mananatili kasi alam naman natin na kapag t’wing bumabagyo ay talagang pinapasukan ‘yan ng lahat ng mga dumi so, pansamantala lang ‘yung kagandahan nyan,” the Bishop said.

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno supported the white sand project in Manila Bay.

“We support DENR. Now, with regard to the claim na ‘yung ilalagay na buhangin ay makakapaminsala sa kapaligiran, it is not up for me to identify scientifically na ito’y nakakasira ng kalikasan. I think DENR on its own knows it better to protect our environment,” Moreno said.

“I don’t think a person in his right mind, in a particular agency of the government, who’s supposed to be taking care of our environment will pollute our environment. ‘Yun ang presumption ko. For now, hangga’t wala naman sigurong nakapagsasaad o nakapagpapatibay sa claim ng iilan, may presumption of regularity… so if that is the case, we continue to support DENR and the City of Manila is grateful to DENR,” he added.