DENR to haul more crushed dolomite from Cebu for widening of Manila Bay beach nourishment project–Cimatu


More crushed dolomite from Cebu will be shipped soon to cover more areas at the controversial Manila Baywalk dolomite beach, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said.

At an online news conference on Wednesday, Cimatu said the delivery of the crushed dolomite along Manila Bay would depend on the release of funds by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

The target is to completely cover some 500 sq meters  beach area while continuously working on improving the water quality of Manila Bay with the hope of making it swimmable, before President Duterte steps down in June next year.

DENR Undersecretary for Environment and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones said the contractor of the P389-million Beach Nourishment Project has so far covered 140 sq meters, which was partially turned over by the contractors to the DPWH and the DENR, which is now in charge of its care and maintenance.

White sand effect

He said it will require more crushed dolomite to cover the entire stretch from the US Embassy grounds Manila to the Manila Yacht Club premises to complete the aesthetic beauty of having a “white sand beach,” which most people prefer over the natural black or gray sand.

“When we opened the portion of the beach that is gray, people are not going there.  It seemed they like the white sand of the dolomite beach better,” Leones noted.

Cimatu apologizes

Cimatu, a member of the Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) who was tasked last year by President Duterte to handle the Covid crisis in Cebu City, apologized for the overcrowding incident at the dolomite beach, saying it was not the intention of the DENR to violate the health protocols put in place by the task force.

He said similar overcrowding incident will no longer happen as measures have been put in place at the dolomite beach by the DENR, including the rule banning children 11 years old and below, and implementing the cinema approach or rotation wherein visitors will be allowed limited time inside the beach area to allow others to take their turn.

“Rest assured that we will adhere to the protocols of the IATF to help the government in the fight against Covid-19,” he said.

Thank you ‘Isko’

He also said that the DENR’s relationship with the City Government of Manila remain strong and even lauded Manila Mayor and presidential aspirant Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso who was quoted in news reports as calling on the Covid-19 Task Force to charge the DENR for violation of the quarantine rules because of the incident.

“Mayor Isko Moreno is very supportive of the dolomite beach project and is always there helping during clean up activities in support of the DENR,” he maintained.

Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units (LGUs) Concern Benny D. Antiporda further clarified that Domagoso may have been misquoted by the media and “was only forced” to issue such remarks in jest when pressured during a news conference.


Cimatu maintained that while they are anticipating a huge crowd after the soft opening of the dolomite beach, the overcrowding that went out of control would not go unchecked.

Cimatu said he has ordered the relief of the ground commander of the dolomite beach area, Director Jacob Meimban Jr. pending investigation of the incident, adding that there were enforcement issues and lapses on the part of Meimban.

Meimban will be relieved by DENR Environmental Law Enforcement and Protection Service (ELEPS) Director Reuel Sorilla who was tasked to enforce the new measures, including its closure on Fridays, and closure from October 29 to November 3, in observance of All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day.


Cimatu, however, lauded Meimban’s effort in preventing what could have been a tragic incident when he controlled the crowd that gathered at the footbridge area adjacent to the dolomite beach area.

“Let me explain to you. While I relieved director Meimban, he did a good job in preventing an incident that happened in the footbridge.  There were some people already inside the baywalk…the safety of the people in the footbridge because there were complaints (from some people) that heard the creaking sound of the footbridge.

He said Meimban decided to go for the footbridge crowd to prevent a potential tragedy.

“This is already outside the dolomite area.  For this, while you are relieved from your post, I congratulate you for preventing a tragedy in those critical times,” Cimatu said. 

Image courtesy of Nonie Reyes

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