MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque defended the move to fill Manila Bay with artificial white sand, noting this could boost the public's mental health in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Sa gitna ng pandemya, kailangan din pangalagaan ang mental health. I think iyong pagpapasyal sa mga lugar kagaya ng Manila Bay na may white beach, hindi mo maku-quantify ang epekto niya pagdating sa mental health ng ating mga kababayan, 'yong kapayapaan na mag-isip at 'yong break (Amid the pandemic, we also need to take care of our mental health. I think walking along places like Manila Bay with white beach, you can't quantify its effect to the mental health, the peace of mind and break)" he said during an ambush interview on Saturday.
The official added that the makeover would further boost Manila Bay's image, which is famed for its beautiful sunset.
"With the white beach there, it would be one of the most picturesque sceneries in the whole world," Roque said.
Roque is confident that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) studied the white sand project or else it would not have pushed through with it.
According to the DENR, the "white sand" used in the Manila Bay beach area along Roxas Boulevard is crushed dolomite boulders extracted from Cebu.
The department and the Manila Bay Task Force are on Phase 1 of the Manila Bay beach nourishment project, with the overlaying of sand expected to be finished by September 19. (PNA)