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Like the Iloilo Esplanade, Manila Bay should’ve had mangroves planted instead of crushed dolomite

Now, people are making comparisons between the new Manila Bay and the Iloilo River Esplanade.

President Rodrigo Duterte has defended the Manila Bay’s fake white sand project, saying that he likes the idea of having crushed dolomite spread all over to make the place look like a real beach.

“People now really enjoy the reclaimed area with the white sand, maski na papaano,” he said during his regular address to the nation.

“Wala naman talaga tayong magawa. You do it, may masabi sila. You do not do it, may masabi si (Vice President) Leni (Robredo). What do you want us to do?” he added.

His statements came after the opening of the artificial beach, which was met with criticism following photos of overcrowding people spreading on social media.

He then said that there is nothing that can be done against the coronavirus.

“Ang problema kasi nitong white sand…Ang sabi, we are not doing enough. What can we do with the germ that is flying around? It’s the microbe that cannot be controlled by any(one),” he said.

“Anong gawin mo? Gusto mo i-spray mo from the sky? DDT? Wala naman tayong magawa diyan,” he added.

The project was called “insensitive” by Vice President Leni Robredo because it was executed amid the pandemic that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide.

The project has a budget of P389-million, which Robredo says could have been used to feed 80,000 families.

“With almost P400 million (budget) at P5,000 for each family, you can help around 80,000 families in a month,” the vice president said previously.

Most agreed with what Robredo said.

Now, people are making comparisons between the new Manila Bay and the Iloilo River Esplanade. The Iloilo Esplanade, considered as arguably the most successful rehabilitation project in the country, only had a budget of P58.7 million, yet it looks so much nicer than Roxas Boulevard.

People have also said that instead of fake white sand, the entire 190-kilometer coastline of Manila Bay would be better off with mangroves, just like those found at the Iloilo esplanade.

A 2012 Cambridge University report states that mangroves are natural shields against land avulsion, storm surge, and flood.

“(Mangroves) slow the flow of water as the surge moves inland and lessen the waves, lowering water levels and reducing damage behind the mangroves,” it said.


Written by JO-EST B. TAN

0917 159 6675

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