- They mentioned that the budget for the rehabilitation project should’ve been allotted for the COVID-19 vaccine.
- The initial budget for the project was Php359 million.
On December 13, a photo of what looked like efforts to refill the dolomite beach at Manila Bay circulated online.
This made people ask if the government’s first batch of dolomite sand was already gone due to the waves and several typhoons that hit the area recently.
Bakit may nagre-refill? Naubos na ba ang inilagay na dolomite dati? pic.twitter.com/n88orSISLV
— Leisbeth Recto (@leisbeth_recto) December 13, 2020
Jules Guiang claimed that the beach is now “driven by ego and pride” as the government officials refuse to admit that it’s a bad idea.
I swear, this dolomite beach is driven by ego and pride. Nakakahiya sa mahuhusay na career planners ng gobyerno lalo na kung decision-makers ay mga appointed officials na wenk wonk mag-isip.
📸: Emil Cruz pic.twitter.com/wHqSnlM47G
— Jules Guiang (@julesguiang) December 13, 2020
Another netizen subtly shaded the priorities of the government amid a pandemic as they are willing to borrow money for the vaccines but surprisingly has a budget for additional dolomite for Manila Bay.
In unlimited dolomite we trust!
Vaccines whut? pic.twitter.com/zR5TxHTJUf
— Miss Maggie (@MiaMagdalena) December 14, 2020
“Other countries be having the vaccine now and [it] will be free for all people sa country nila tapos dito sa Pilipinas tamang ham and cheese at dolomite eh,” a Twitter user wrote.
other countries be having the vaccine now and will be free for all people sa country nila tapos dito sa pilipinas tamang ham and cheese at dolomite e,pilipinas napagiiwanan ka na.
— Nini~ (@hernaezjanayah_) December 14, 2020
Another one said that she’s jealous of her friends saying that their country will soon have access to the COVID-19 vaccine while here in the Philippines, the government chose to put the money in dolomite instead.
i'm jealous of my moots tbh flexing that they'll have a vaccine and it will be free for all people in their country, fvck here in my country we are putting dolomite and using the money for ham and cheese, pure of corruptions here and there, wtf.
— cherienini (@minnieloml) December 14, 2020
Someone also compared the dolomite refill to a coffee refill.
dolomite refill, anyone? di lang kape ang may pa refill. only in the phils lang talaga!🤬 https://t.co/QSjrdmsuft
— btu.Queen (@btu_queen) December 14, 2020
“DDS yung patunay na di talaga nakakatulong sa mental health yung dolomite,” a netizen said.
DDS yung patunay na di talaga nakakatulong sa mental health yung dolomite.
— aja ♡ (@thepithapon) December 14, 2020
In September, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque defended the dolomite project by saying that it will give immeasurable benefits to Filipinos’ mental health.
“I don’t buy that argument. Kasi alam mo, sa gitna ng pandemya, kinakailangan din na pangalagaan ang mental health,” he said in response to the critics who said that the budget for the rehabilitation of Manila Bay should’ve been allotted to the government’s COVID-19 response.
“I think ‘yung pagpapasyal sa mga lugar gaya ng Manila Bay na may white beach, hindi mo maqua-quantify ang epekto nyan pagdating sa mental health ng ating mga kababayan,” he added.
A netizen expressed her shock and said that she didn’t realize that it’s going to be unlimited dolomite.
The dolomite beach is a part of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) project to rehabilitate Manila Bay. It has a budget of Php359 million that was sourced from the contingency fund of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Upon recent typhoons and heavy rains, the “sand” has constantly been washed away. However, DENR denied these claims and stated that the dolomite sand wasn’t getting washed out, but black sand was being washed in.
Health hazards of dolomite were also mentioned before as the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute warned that prolonged exposure to dolomite could cause chronic health effects such as chest pains, shortness of breath, and coughing.