Geologist warns against wasting resources in ‘costly’ Manila Bay makeover

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 5) — The engineering technology the Environment Department claimed it used in the overlaying of white sand on the shores of Manila Bay “is very costly” and natural alternatives should have been used instead, a geologist says.

Geologist and University of the Philippines professor Mahar Lagmay said that going the natural way in solving environmental problems is always the better option, especially during these times.

“Tayo ay nasa panahon ng COVID at ang pera ay kakarampot at mas kinakailangan dun sa mga talagang... Katulad ng mga frontliners o kaya dun sa mga bagay na mas magandang paglaanan,” Lagmay said.

[Translation: We are in the middle of COVID and money is scarce and much more needed by frontliners or other things that require immediate help.]

Lagmay added that the coastal engineering measures for the rehabilitation project will prove too costly, as the sand will eventually have to be continually replaced and replenished.

“Yung mga ganyang mga projects kapag coastal erosion. Nangyayari itong beach nourishment sa ibang bansa, it has proven very costly,” he said in a CNN Philippines interview on Saturday.

[Translation: Projects like that tend to be vulnerable to soil erosion. Beach nourishment is being done in other countries and it has proven very costly.]

Some groups have criticized the department’s emphasis on aesthetic enhancement and not on addressing critical environmental concerns plaguing the Manila Bay.