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Manila Bay's White Sand Source Stays Shut, Under DENR Probe

Environment Secretary Cimatu inspected the area.
by Joel Guinto
Sep 25, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

A mining site in Cebu province that extracts dolomite for use in Manila Bay's white sand makeover will stay shut while the Department of Environment and Natural Resources investigates its operations, Sec. Roy Cimatu said Friday.

The area had been shut for days after the Cebu provincial government issued a cease and desist order, accusing its operators of failing to declare that it was supplying white sand to the Manila Bay project. 

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The attraction opened to large crowds last weekend and was shut last Monday after photos showed that some of those who came failed to observe proper physical distancing.

Cimatu, in an interview posted on the Facebook page of Cebu Daily News, said divers were checking if corals were damaged by debris from the mine.

"I am very particular sa violation of the environment. I am very particular sa mining companies (I am very particular with violations against the environment and mining companies)," he said.

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Whether or not the mine will be shut for good will depend on the results of the inquire, he said.

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.

"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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