The government must first address the root cause of pollution in Manila Bay before giving it an aesthetic makeover using white sand, an environmental group said Monday.
Last week, crushed dolomite from Cebu was dumped on the bayfront in an attempt to bring the view of Boracay’s beaches closer to those stuck in the Metro due to quarantine restrictions.
“This should not have been done unless there is scientific basis,” Living Laudato Si Head Rodne Galicha told ANC.
Beautification can only happen after the root cause of the problem has been addressed, Galicha said. In this case, dumping white sand on Manila Bay lacked rehabilitation. The move fails to address the root cause of pollution, which should be the priority, he said.
When asked of the steps to be taken before beautification, Galicha said “there are a lot of things to do,” such as cleaning up esteros, monitoring factory waste, and surveying the wastes left behind by ships that stop by Manila Bay.
A study should have been done to see if the tourism industry, the people, and the environment would reap benefits from the white sand several years down the line, he said.
Galicha acknowledged the efforts of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, but stressed that there must be transparency. Their research and study on the effects of white sand on the bay must be presented so the public knows where the funds are going and if it is being used right.