The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR’s) plan to cover Manila Bay with synthetic white sand was “insensitive” and “insulting” to Filipinos who were suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic, Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday.
The DENR earlier said it would spend P389 million to put crushed dolomite boulders along Manila Bay to discourage people from littering.
“Parang napaka-insensitive na gagawin mo ‘yan sa height ng pandemic na ang daming nagugutom, ang daming naghihirap, gagawin mo ‘yung pang-beautify,” Robredo said in her weekly radio show.
She also pointed out that the Duterte administration repeatedly rejected her suggestions on how to improve the government’s COVID-19 response, including giving P5,000 to the poorest families amid the lockdown, due to a supposed lack of funds.
“Kahit nga si presidente naririnig natin every press conference, sinasabi niya walang pera, so nakakainsulto ‘pag nakikita ng tao ‘yung ganitong programa na para bang hindi sensitive sa kahirapan,” she said.
“Ano ba naman ‘yung i-assess natin ‘yung dati nating mga programa na baka naman puwedeng gamitin muna ‘yung mga pera sa mga kailangan kaysa unahin ‘yung hindi kailangan,” Robredo added.
Environmental and fisherfolk groups earlier slammed the white sand project as an “aesthetic solution that “does not solve pollution at the source.”
Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Senator Panfilo Lacson backed the “worthwhile endeavor.”
source: Julia Mari Ornedo/DVM, GMA News