President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday told off critics of the artificial white sand beach on Manila Bay that is blanketed with crushed dolomite rocks, saying the result was "beautiful, period."
The 76-year-old likened the P389-million beautification project to Boracay, frequented by beautiful women. Authorities have had to frequently clean up that stretch of Roxas Boulevard as heavy rains and big waves pile trash onto the sand.
"What is beautiful is beautiful, period. Dolomite is beautiful to the eyes, period. Huwag ka nang magtanong kasi hindi naman ninyo kaya kung kayo. You had your chance, actually," he told critics during his taped address.
Duterte also applauded Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu for taking on the challenge to clean the beach.
The government earlier said the white sand makeover could benefit Filipinos' mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's also for Filipinos who couldn't afford airfare to visit the famous white sands of Boracay, they said.
Environment groups have long said that dumping artificial sand lacked scientific basis and would only give it a superficial face lift without addressing the root cause of pollution.
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