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‘No funds allocated for dolomite project in 2022’

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
âNo funds allocated for dolomite project in 2022â
This was discovered during House deliberations last Wednesday on the proposed P22.295-billion budget of the DENR and its attached agencies for 2022.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — The government will no longer spend a single centavo next year for the Manila Bay dolomite beach project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which received backlash from the public.

This was discovered during House deliberations last Wednesday on the proposed P22.295-billion budget of the DENR and its attached agencies for 2022.

House appropriations committee vice chairman and Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. sponsored the DENR’s budget, which hurdled the plenary.

Deputy Speaker and Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza Jr. asked if the proposed DENR budget would include more funding for the Manila Bay rehabilitation project.

Haresco said P1.6 billion would be allocated to the rehabilitation, but the amount will no longer cover the dolomite beach project.

“There is no allocation for dolomite anymore,” Haresco said.

He said the entire budget for the program would go to the rehabilitation of Manila Bay’s surrounding rivers and water system.

Last year, the government earmarked P389 million for the bay’s rehabilitation project. Of the amount, P28 million was allotted for the dolomite overlay.

The artificial beach is expected to be finished by the third quarter of 2022.

In the second phase of the Baywalk project, the existing stretch of white sand near the US embassy will be replenished to achieve the one-meter thickness of sand indicated in the initial plan.

The stretch of sand will expand toward the Padre Faura outfall, according to the DENR.

The project was criticized as a waste of public funds during the COVID-19 pandemic. But President Duterte has defended the project.

The DENR says that the beach nourishment project is a significant component of the bay’s rehabilitation.

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