Press Release
September 7, 2020

In light of dolomite health hazards
Nancy to DENR: Suspend use of 'white sand' in Manila Bay project
...says agency failed to see impact on environment, public health

In light of the health department's warning of potential health hazards brought by the "white sand project," Senator Nancy Binay urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to immediately suspend the filling of synthetic white sands on Manila Bay's shore.

The Department of Health today confirmed that dolomite dust can cause adverse respiratory reactions, eye irritation and discomfort in the gastrointestinal system. Dolomite is a type of mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate.

"Yung paglalagay ng dolomite as a substitute for white sand only means na hindi dumaan sa tamang proseso at pag-aaral ang plano sa Manila Bay rehabilitation. Walang public consultation, walang environmental clearance, hilaw ang EIA/EIS, at malinaw na bara-bara at di comprehensive ang plano," Binay pointed out.

According to the senator, the public deserved to be informed about the whole context of the project particularly its impact on the environment and public health.

"Kung iniisip talaga ng DENR ang kapakanan ng kalikasan at ng taumbayan, it is but proper for them to immediately stop the dumping of dolomite.

"In the right order of things, bago sana ang mga palamuti, dapat unahin muna ng DENR ang pagsasaayos ng water quality ng Manila Bay. Nakakalungkot lang, kaysa sa i-prioritize ayusin ang mga banyo sa Baseco, mas inuna pang pondohan ang puting buhangin galing Cebu," Binay added.

Amid public outcry over the Manila Bay, the senator urged the DENR to release to the public the project's budget and approved environmental impact statement in the interest of transparency.

"Mapa-government o DENR project man yan, dapat may feasibility studies at science-based ang laman ng plano. Kung DENR project, di sila exempted--the more na required ang enviromental clearance at scientific studies. Kapag bara-bara, sayang ang science talaga," said Binay.

The EIS is a requirement mandated by law to all government agencies for every project or undertaking that significantly affects the environment.

It is a form of environmental impact assessment that details the possible effects of a project on the site where it would be implemented, as well as alternatives to the proposed action.

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