Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu during a press briefing on Manila Bay Rehabilitation. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday compared the controversial dolomite beach in Manila to beautiful women in Boracay as he defended the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) initiatives to overlay the bayside along Manila Bay with crushed dolomite.
“Tignan mo ngayon ang Boracay, noon maraming magagandang babae naliligo dun, n’ong pinaganda… mas lalong pinakamagandang lahat ng babae sa buong mundo nandiyan na,” Duterte said in his weekly taped briefing.
(Look at Boracay now, there were many beautiful women bathing there, but when it was rehabilitated… more of the most beautiful women in the world are now here.)
“What is beautiful, is beautiful period. Dolomite is beautiful in the eyes, period,” he added.
He then said that past administrations have had the chance to fix Manila Bay themselves but only Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu was the one who was “willing to take the problem by its horns.”
“You had your chance actually, for so many years you had every chance to do it. Was there anybody willing to take the problem by its horns? Si Cimatu lang [only Cimatu],” said Duterte.
Duterte then proceeded to defend his decision to put former military men as members of his cabinet, reiterating that they were his friends that’s why he trusts them.
“Lahat ‘yang kaharap ko na military puro ko kaibigan ‘yan, hindi lang ‘yan basta kinuha ko, kilala ko, I can vouch for their honesty and [being industrious],” he said.
(All those in front of me who are military are my friends, I can vouch for their honesty and being industrious.)
The government spent P389 million to overlay the Manila Bay’s gray shoreline stretching 500 meters with crushed dolomite, which came all the way from the province of Cebu.
The project, however,
from the public as groups called the project a “completely absurd” effort that would hardly solve “the environmental degradation problems of the bay.”
Meanwhile, the Malacañang, for its part, said that
the project will benefit the mental health of Filipinos
during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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