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Duterte on Manila Bay Sands: Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't

People are 'really enjoying' the white sand beach.
by Joel Guinto
Sep 21, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday government would continue to receive criticism, regardless of what happens to Manila Bay's white sand makeover. People are "enjoying" the project and the environment department should be congratulated for cleaning the bayfront.

The area geo-tagged as Manila Bay Sands was closed on Monday after weekend crowds violated the required social distancing of at least one meter. The man-made white sand beach (from crushed dolomite rocks) was meant to provide relief for Metro Manila residents who are under under quarantine for six months and counting.

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"People now are really enjoying the reclaimed area with the white sand. Maski papaano," Duterte said in his weekly late-night Monday address to the nation.

"Wala naman talaga tayo magagawa. You do it, may masasabi sila. You do not do it, may masasabi din si Leni," he said, referring to Vice President Leni Robredo. "Ang sabi, we are not doing enough. What can we do with a germ that's flying around?" he said.

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At the start of Monday night's meeting, Duterte said Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu should be congratulated for taking on the task of cleaning Manila Bay, which has long been a symbol of urban water pollution. 

"People are now enjoying the benefits of the determined action of a cabinet member to do good," he said.

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