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Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has warned the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) about the potential waste of public funds over its beautification project of Manila Bay, which involves covering the shoreline with artificial white sand.

In a radio interview Saturday (September 5), Gatchalian said DENR should make sure that the white sand at Manila Bay will not be washed away by rain or strong waves.

“Ang payo ko sa DENR, siguraduhin nila na tatagal ito na matagal na matagal. Dahil kung sandali lang, mawala ‘yan, baka katakot-takot na demanda ang abutin ng DENR dahil sayang ang pera,” he said.

DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda has said that they will use an “engineering intervention” to make sure the artificial white sand made from dolomite will not be washed out to sea. He said the project aims to make Manila Bay “swimmable” and bring Boracay’s vibe closer to Filipinos who have not been to the famous beach.

Gatchalian, however, has reservations over the project since geologist Mahar Lagmay had said that the white sand could be washed away by storms and high tide.

“Baka masayang lang kung mawa-wash out din. Kung ‘di maglalagay ng engineering device, baka mawala rin, sayang lang,” he said.

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