First and foremost, everyone here at manilabaybeach.com is a huge fan of Manila Bay, the Manila Baywalk and its two beaches: the famous Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach and the lesser-known Mandamus Beach! We simply love the idea of them both, and we are extremely motivated to do our part AND to encourage everyone to do their part to keep Manila Bay, the Baywalk and both beach areas clean! We see the potential in the beaches at Manila Bay and easily envision Manila Baywalk’s destined return to grandeur and glory!

Beyond that, the beaches at the Manila Baywalk are both natural — the Mandamus Beach — and man-made beaches (similar to Miami Beach, in Florida, USA) — the Dolomite Beach — located in Manila, Philippines. The beaches cover a total length of approximately 600 meters of the Manila Baywalk (the Dolomite Beach, 500m; the Mandamus Beach, 100m), stretching from the US Embassy to the Manila Yacht Club.

The beaches and soon-to-come fishing area at the Manila Baywalk are a project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. They are/will be a part of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program launched by Secretary Roy Cimatu in January 2019. 

 

Yes. There are two beaches at Manila Baywalk.

The name of the first beach — revealed on an entrance-to-the-beach arch in late September of 2021 — is Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach. It is located next to the US Embassy along Roxas Boulevard and will reopen on June 12, 2022.

The Mandamus Beach is located next to the Manila Yacht Club.


So why is this site called Manila Bay Beach?

As the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach is not the only beach at the Manila Baywalk area, we thought a name that referenced the entire area — the Bay, both beaches, the Baywalk, the fishing wharf area, the sunset, et cetera — would simply be fun. To that end, we long-ago chose to use the sunset-idyllic Manila Bay Beach, as we felt the name affectionately captured the sand-between-your-toes, the wind-blowing-in-your-hair, and the warm-sun-on-your-face feelings that will — from these days, forward — forever be associated with the beach and sunset at Manila Bay.

Beyond that, it would prove to be a very difficult task to create jingles for Manila Bay Beach Radio that smoothly either spoke or sang Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach Raaadioooooo … it’s quite the mouthful — haha!

So … Manila Bay Beach Raaadioooooo!


For those reasons above, the names Manila Bay Beach and manilabaybeach.com were proudly chosen.

The Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach — all 500m! — is currently open to the public daily — except Thursday — from 6AM-6PM.

To be clear, the Dolomite Beach is closed on Thursday — the entire day — for maintenance. 

No online pre-registration is required.

 

Yes, access to each beach will be and will remain to be 100% free. 

 

Yes, the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach is an ALL-AGES beach — the entire beach is EVERYONE’S play area! 

Manila Bay Beach is for everyone children of all ages, PWDs, the elderly, everyone!

 

As of November 2022, the Bay is still not swimmable. However, the coliform level of the Baywalk waters continue to DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE and now average approximately 1000 MPN/100mL. As the Manila Bay Task Force are increasingly eager to reduce the coliform level of the Baywalk and beach areas, one of the major, new initiatives is to plug the outfalls that are releasing wastewater to the Bay. 

The Environmental Management Bureau – National Capital Region (EMB-NCR) is tasked to conduct water quality testing using Multiple Tube Fermentation Technique for fecal coliform content, pH, dissolved oxygen and other readings.

Testing is done weekly.

Remembering that a reading of 100 mpn/100 mL coliform level is needed for swimming. The fecal coliform level at the beach nourishment area continues to show dramatic improvement.

Shout out: DENR

On Dec. 18, 2016, the Supreme Court issued SC Mandamus on Manila Bay (G.R. 171947-48) directing 13 government agencies to clean up, rehabilitate, and preserve Manila Bay, and restore and maintain its waters to SB level to make them fit for swimming, skin-diving, and other forms of contact recreation.

Shout out: Supreme Court of the Philippines


Inspired by the significant decline in the level of fecal coliform level in Manila Bay, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, also chairman of the Manila Bay Interagency Task Force, vowed to continue the government’s efforts to clean the waters of the historic bay. This after water samples were taken last February 8, 2021 from 21 stations surrounding the Manila Bay have shown significantly lower fecal coliform from the annual average of 7.16 million most probable number per 100 milliliters (mpn/100ml) in 2020 to only 4.87 million mpn/100ml at present. Cimatu noted that fecal coliform level in the waters near the beach nourishment project has dropped from 2.2 million mpn/100ml last January 4 to 523,000 mpn/100 ml on February  8, based on the average count from three monitoring stations.

Despite the significant improvement in the water quality in Manila Bay, including the dumping of artificial white-sand beach at a 500-meter portion of the “Baywalk” along Roxas Boulevard, swimming and bathing and other recreation activities in Manila Bay remain unsafe. The standard coliform level for coastal waters which is safe for swimming and other similar recreational activities is at only P100 mpn/100ml. The DENR continues to strictly enforce the Clean Water Act, requiring commercial establishments to put up a sewerage treatment plants (STP) to reduce the pollution levels of water that drain to Manila Bay. Last year, the DENR chief inaugurated a solar-powered STP near the Manila Yacht Club, which contributed to the significant decrease in the level of fecal coliform bacteria in the area. In a news statement, Cimatu said that despite time constraints due to other pressing commitments and the coronavirus 2019 pandemic, the agency still persevered to address the issues in Manila Bay, particularly its water quality.

Shout out: Business Mirror, February 19, 2021

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported significant improvements in the water quality of major outfalls directly draining into Manila Bay a year after the pollution-challenged water body started undergoing rehabilitation.

“There is reason to celebrate because a year after we launched the ‘Battle for Manila Bay,’ we have recorded significant improvements in the water quality from major drainage outfalls,” DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, who chairs the Manila Bay Task Force, declared.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported significant improvements in the water quality of major outfalls directly draining into Manila Bay a year after the pollution-challenged water body started undergoing rehabilitation. Before the rehabilitation kicked off on January 26 last year, the DENR recorded extremely high fecal coliform levels from major Manila Bay outfalls. But now, Cimatu said the most recent data from the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) showed that the coliform levels have “drastically decreased.”

Citing EMB data, Cimatu said the fecal coliform count at the Padre Faura outfall is now down to 920,000 most probable number per 100 milliliter (mpn/100ml) from its pre-rehab record of 7.21 million mpn/100ml. From 35 million mpn/100ml recorded before the rehabilitation began, Cimatu said the coliform level at the Raja Soliman/Remedios drainage outfall across Aristocrat Restaurant went down to 11 million mpn/100ml. The coliform level at the Manila Yacht Club outfall is now 54 million mpn/100ml from a high of 110 million mpn/100ml, the DENR chief noted. Despite these improvements, however, Cimatu said more needs to be done especially since the standard fecal coliform level in Manila Bay is 100 mpn/100ml based on its classification as “Class SB” coastal and marine water.

Shout out: DENR, January 24, 2020

The Manila Zoo is only one example of the significant effort made by the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) to clean up the Bay. The Zoo was indefinitely closed on January 23, 2019, by then Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada after the DENR identified it as a major pollutant of Manila Bay. The zoo was found to be dumping untreated sewage into an estuary that empties into the bay. After intense clean-up and renovation, the Manila Zoo is currently scheduled to re-open in December of 2021.

Shout out: Philippine Star

 

Manila Bay Beach Radio is Manila Bay’s first and only curated, live, 24-hour, streaming radio station, playing popular music from yesterday (the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s & 90s) through today: Top 40, rock/grunge, soul, disco, adult contemporary, jazz, gospel, singers/songwriters, rhythm & blues, country, rap, live recordings and performances, and more.

Manila Bay Beach Radio is currently available on manilabaybeach.com and Amazon Echo: “Alexa, play Manila Bay Beach Radio”.

The Manila Bay Beach Radio app for the Android smartphone is currently available in the Google Playstore. An app for the Apple smartphone is coming soon.

 

is a podcast recorded along the Manila Baywalk in the Philippines.

Join Manila Bay Beach Joe — and guests — as both conversation and Joe’s stream of consciousness take the listener on unscripted journeys through society and culture, including but never limited to music, wellness & beauty, books, food, careers, sleeping under the stars, the absurdity of modern life, comedy, passion & intimacy, education, acts of altruism, current events, tripping, societal nonsense, conspiracy, self-improvement, the growing need for compassion and hand-holding, government, cinema, the boogie, the relevance of nihilism, the beauty of people who curse and accept differences and turn off their cell phones when in the company of others, health & fitness, life-after-death and death-after-life, history, sexuality, spirituality, entertainment, philosophy, travel, mental health, sports & leisure, science, existentialism, relationships and the timeless comfort of worn blue jeans and oversized sweatshirts as he contemplates what may be truly important during this lifetime. 

 

Construction of The Mandamus Offices Building has been completed. It is located beside the entrance to the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach.

This will serve as offices for the Mandamus Agencies of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation, including the Manila Bay Task Force, among others.

Shout out: DENR

 

Although not yet open — as of November 2022 — two solar powered restrooms have been installed along the Manila Baywalk (one at Padre Faura Street and one at Abad Street).

The PADRE FAURA facility has a 180 square meter total floor area with men’s restrooms (two water closets and two urinals), women’s restrooms (four water closets), as well as a PWD  restroom.  

There is also a lactation or diaper changing room. 

Additionally, there are three shower cubicles for men and three shower cubicles for women.

The ABAD facility has a 105 square meter total floor area with men’s restrooms (two water closets and two urinals), women’s restrooms (three water closets), as well as a   PWD restroom.  

There is also a lactation or diaper changing room. 

Additionally, there are two shower cubicles for men and two shower cubicles for women.

Solar panels will be installed above the roof of both facilities which will serve as the main source of power.

Treated water from the sewage treatment plant will provide the water for flushing.

Shout out: DENR

 

Part of the original Phase Three plan was for there to be a Fisherman’s Wharf area located at the Mandamus Beach, next to the Manila Yacht Club.

At the wharf, fisherman would be able to use their fishing rods and/or other equipment to fish or engage in other recreational activities.

Although there is no updated information available regarding these plans, we invite you to visit the FAQ page again for updated information regarding the Fisherman’s Wharf. We also invite you to FOLLOW facebook.com/manilabaybeach for additional updates.

 

Yes, the previous comfort room located beside the new solar-powered comfort room — next to the Manila Yacht Club — has been converted into a souvenir shop. Construction has been completed.

Although there is no updated information available regarding an opening date, we invite you to visit the FAQ page again for updated information regarding the souvenir shop. We also invite you to FOLLOW facebook.com/manilabaybeach for additional updates.

 

Yes. This facility collects the commercial waters from surrounding barangays and cleanses and purifies these waters to be used by the Manila Bay Comfort Rooms.

Any excess cleansed and purified water will be discharged directly into Manila Bay. 

An additional sewage treatment plant is currently in the plans. 

 

A total of sixty coconut trees (Cocos nucifera) were planted along Manila Baywalk from the Remedios Outfall to the Abad Outfall.

 

Manila Bay, bay of the South China Sea extending into southwestern Luzon, Philippines. Almost completely landlocked, it is considered one of the world’s great harbours and has an area of 770 square miles (2,000 square km) with a 120-mile (190-km) circumference.

The Bay’s widest diameter, from northwest to southeast, measures 36 miles (58 km). Corregidor Island, 30 miles (48 km) west of Manila, divides the bay’s 11-mile- (18-km-) wide entrance into two channels—the seldom used South Channel and the safer 2-mile- (3.2-km-) wide North Channel between Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor.

The northern and northeastern shore of the bay adjoins Luzon’s central plain. There the bay is shallow and lined by the mudflats and mangrove swamps of the delta of the Pampanga River, site of the most extensive commercial fishponds in the Philippines. Most of the bay is between 30 and 120 feet (10 and 40 metres) deep; the tidal range is only moderate.

Manila Harbor, at the easternmost part of the bay, is divided into two sections: North Harbor for inter-island ships and South Harbor for international shipping. The Philippine military maintains an air base and a naval reservation near Cavite, on the southeastern shore. Balanga, on the western shore, is the base of a small fishing fleet.

 

Click HERE for a view of the beach mid-construction from March 2022.

Historically speaking, in response to the dismal state of Manila Bay, on Dec. 18, 2016, the Supreme Court issued SC Mandamus on Manila Bay (G.R. 171947-48) directing 13 government agencies to clean up, rehabilitate, and preserve Manila Bay, and restore and maintain its waters to SB level to make them fit for swimming, skin-diving, and other forms of contact recreation.

 

The current Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) administration started the Manila Bay Clean Up Program in accordance with the Mandamus. As part of this program, a memorandum of agreement was signed between the DENR and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on November 12, 2019 to implement the P389 million beach nourishment project. Of this budget, 7.2 percent (P28 million) was allotted for the procurement of dolomite sand. Its intended impacts are coastal protection and promotion of tourism values.

On January 27, 2019, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu officially declared the start of the Manila Rehabilitation at the Baywalk in Manila. On hand to witness the declaration, and also joined in the earlier event of Solidarity Walk from the Quirino Grandstand to the staging area (Baywalk), were about 5,000 individuals, mostly representing the 13 Mandamus agencies, local government units, and private sector.

Calling it the “Battle for Manila Bay,” Cimatu, a former Armed Forces chief, said: “This is one battle that will be won not with force or arms, but with the firm resolve to bring Manila Bay back to life.”
 
Shout out: The Metro Manila Times
 

After the success with the Boracay rehabilitation, the DENR was given another challenge: the rehabilitation of Manila Bay. After a decade of government interventions, since the Issuance of Mandamus [see: What Is the Water Quality at Manila Bay Beach? Is it Safe to Swim?], the deterioration of the base-water quality continued. Alarmed over the degradation of the bay, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered Secretary Roy A. Cimatu of the DENR and Secretary Eduardo Emanuo of the DILG to clean up Manila Bay. The DENR, together with Secretary Emanuo. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Apuyat, and other Mandamus agency members, immediately convened all stakeholders to discuss the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

On January 27, 2019, the DENR led the launch of the Battle for Manila Bay giving the green light for its rehabilitation. Immediately after the launch, the DENR and the Laguna Lake Development Authority closed down area establishments within the bay which were found violating Republic Act 9275 Clean Water Act of 2004. Believing that local executives shall be frontliners in cleaning up esteros that drain into Manila Bay, the DENR conducted dialogue with barangay chairpersons. This was also in preparation for the massive clean-up. On March 31, 2019, the Battle for Esteros and Creeks” was launched. More than 16,000 people participated in the clean-up drives.

The DENR continues to tirelessly work in the following areas:

Water quality improvement. About 33% of the target 40,000 establishments were inspected as of November 28, 2019. (2684 notices of violation and 107 cease and desist orders … 2 ex parte orders issued.) Regular water quality monitoring in 18 selected river mouths and outfalls and 31 bathing beaches in the National Capital Region 3 and Region 4A are is being conducted.

Solid Waste Management. From January 2019 to November 2019, combined DENR, LGUs and Metro Manila Development Authority or MMDA clean-up drives (1100 clean-up activities, 85,600 volunteers) collected 127,800 cubic meters of waste (garbage) while the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) dredged 40,000 cubic meters silt and debris. The DENR also launched the skimmers in Pasig River and ordered the removal of barges on the river.

ISF Resettlement and Relocation. Delineation and demarkation of easement (500KM of easement delineated) has started in 32 waterways in 3 regions. Survey and assessment of informal settler families living along waterways recorded 56,012 ISFs (informal settler families). 259 ISF from Estero de San Antonio de Abad and Estero de Magdalena were relocated in Caloocan City and Cavite City. The DENR also hired 1142 Estero Rangers to help out in the clean-up of Esteros and collection of garbage in households along rivers and Esteros.

Education and Sustainment. The DENR and its employees were directed to go out of their offices and help in the clean-up of Esteros as well as conduct an information, education and communication campaign to heighten awareness and encourage participation in the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

With all these initiatives, the DENR, together with other members of the Manila Bay task force, is confident that Manila Bay will soon regain its former glory.

Shout out: Duterte Legacy, DENR video

 

There are multiple reclamation projects planned for and around Metro Manila and Manila Bay. Efforts like Horizon Manila and the SM Prime Pasay Reclamation Project show a vision of development that hinges on ensuring that the waters around it are kept clean.

The plan is that these private entities will team up with the DENR and DPWH to ensure that economic development and environmental stewardship go hand-in-hand.

All of these efforts contribute to a healthy and more beautiful Greater Manila Area. These efforts add up to the “true” masterplan for Manila Bay – the government and private sector coming together to build not just a better Manila Bay, but a better National Capital Region as well.

It’s a monumental effort, but far from impossible if we work together. The dream is to rehabilitate not just Manila Bay, but all other rivers, lakes, and esteros. And let the rest of the country follow suit.

At the end of the day, that’s [all] what we [really] want for Manila Bay – for it to be a source of pride not just for Manilenyos, but for all Filipinos.

Shout out: flyingketchup.ph, April 20, 2021

 

The Manila Bay Area covers eight (8) provinces and 178 local government units in three regions of the country, namely: National Capital Region (NCR), Region III, and Region IV-A. Of the eight provinces, four are coastal (Bataan, Bulacan, Cavite and Pampanga); four are non-coastal (Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Rizal and Tarlac).
 
Its drainage area covers 1,994 km2, or 199,400 hectares.
 
Its coastline measures some 190 kilometers.
 
There are 17 principal river systems draining to Manila Bay, namely:
Angat River
Bocaue River
Maria River
Marilao River
Meycauayan
Meycauayan-Valenzuela River
Pasig River
Parañaque River
Imus River
Ylang-ylang River
Rio Grande
Cañas River
Obando River
Navotas-Malabon-Tinajeros-Tullahan River
Talisay River
Guagua River
Pampanga River
 
The 13 Mandamus agencies are as follows:
DENR
DILG
DepEd
DOH
DA
DPWH
DBM
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)
Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG)
Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA)
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS)
Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA)
 
Shout out: The Metro Manila Times
 

Roxas Boulevard, which runs along the shores of Manila Bay, is well known for its sunsets and stretch of coconut trees. The divided roadway has become a trademark of Philippine tourism, famed for its yacht club, hotels, restaurants, commercial buildings and parks.

Originally called Cavite Boulevard, it was renamed Dewey Boulevard in honor of the American Admiral George Dewey, whose forces defeated the Spanish navy in the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898. The boulevard was again renamed to Heiwa Boulevard in late 1941 during Japanese Home Rule and Roxas Boulevard in the 1960s to honor President Manuel Roxas, the fifth president of the Republic of Philippines.

Shout out: Metro Manila Times, April 2021

 

The project’s implementation is not untimely. The project was approved by Congress under the 2019 General Appropriations Act. It underwent competitive bidding under Republic Act 9184 (the Government Procurement Reform Act), and the contract was awarded prior to the global pandemic. The government cannot simply stop a project when it is already under a contractual obligation to proceed.

Shout out: http://www.denr.gov.ph

Further, beach nourishment mainly aims to rehabilitate and protect the coastal resources in the area to prevent coastal flooding and erosion. The project was conceptualized, budgeted and approved by the Department of Budget and Management in 2019, when there was no incident yet of COVID-19 in the country. A memorandum of agreement with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was signed between October and November 2019, and the DPWH started its implementation in January 2020.

Shout out: http://www.denr.gov.ph

For further understanding of Congress’ 2019 General Appropriations Act and its chronological relationship to the Covid19 timeline in the Philippines: ” … as of March 1, 2020, there have been three confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.” In an attempt to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines, the Duterte government began on Sunday, March 15, 2020, its lockdown of Metro Manila, the country’s most populous and developed region.

Shout out: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

 

The DENR is fully aware of the problems faced by the Filipino people under the current COVID-19 situation.

However, the DENR, DPWH, Metro Manila Development Authority, Philippine Coast Guard, and the other agencies tasked to rehabilitate the Manila Bay are not the Department of Health (DOH) or the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which have the mandates to address health and social welfare concerns. The mandate of the DENR is to use its financial, manpower and other resources for the protection and conservation of the environment and natural resources, even in the midst of a pandemic. However, the DENR has returned 10% of its 2020 budget amounting to PHP 1,436,797,000 to the National Treasury in support of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or F.A. No. 11469.

Moreover, the DENR’s central, regional and bureau offices have initiated programs to support the Government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees also pooled donations to help our countrymen. Hence, we were able to generate a total of PHP 89,114,374.76 for COVID-19 assistance, broken down as follows:

> DENR central, regional bureau offices: PHP 19,546,193.96, and

> Employees’ donations/contributions: PHP 69,568,180.80.

These donations were utilized for the procurement of personal protective equipment, sanitation and hygiene kits, food packs and other necessary items given to frontliners and families affected by the lockdown, including DENR employees. DENR secretary Roy Cimatu also rendered service to help contain the COVID-19 crisis in Cebu and Bacolod, as he was personally tasked by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Shout out: http://www.denr.gov.ph

Although sensitive to the struggles of his constituency and all Filipinos during these many difficult months, Mayor Isko Moreno optimistically supports the Manila Bay Rehabilitation project: “Life must go on. Things must move on,” the mayor said. “All other things in the government in terms of vision, aspirations, future development for midterm and long-term, must be done simultaneously while we’re fighting against the pandemic. We cannot stop.”

Shout out: CNN Philippines, April 15, 2021

Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya: “We urge the critics to study the issue first before they make baseless allegations against worthwhile government projects. We welcome any investigation into this project whether in the courts of justice or in the court of public opinion. All this criticism is misplaced … we also have a responsibility to clean up and rehabilitate Manila Bay for ourselves and future generations.”

Shout out: manilastandard.net

 

Members of the Manila Bay Task Force have been and continue to be consulted, while experts from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), and the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) have been and continue to collaborate on the project.

Shout out: DENR

 

Dolomite is not detrimental to the ecosystems of Manila Bay.

Shout out: http://www.denr.gov.ph

[Eduardo Año, vice chair of the Manila Bay Task Force,] said dolomite, which was used as artificial white sand to beautify the Manila Bay beach, “is a common material used in beach nourishment” in resorts around the world.

Shout out: manilastandard.net

However, environmental group Oceana Philippines warned that since the sand does not naturally occur at the bay, the government could be destroying the natural ecosystem of Manila Bay.

DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said in a PhilStar.com report, “Kami sa DENR pinag-aralan natin ‘yan. In the first place ‘yung mga ginamit d’yan, especially ‘yung sand, ‘yung dolomite boulders na ‘yan it contains calcium carbonate and if you will look sa corals, calcium carbonate din. So it will not disrupt the coastal ecosystem.” (We at the DENR studied that. In the first place, the sand we used, the dolomite boulders contain calcium carbonate and if you will look at the corals, they’re calcium carbonate as well. So it will not disrupt the coastal ecosystem.)

Shout out: Rappler.com

Being a mineral, a naturally occurring chemical compound that is calcium magnesium carbonate, DENR said the dolomite is not detrimental to the ecosystems of Manila Bay, and is a known neutralizer that lessens the acidity of seawater making it popular for use in fish aquariums. Additionally, sea coral itself is a calcium carbonate, CaCO3, similar to the composition of dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2. Dolomite is, therefore, not foreign to the coastal ecosystem.

As to the claim that the dolomites allegedly pose health hazards to the public, the Department of Health also assured that “no untoward incidents will occur as a result of the endeavor”.

The DOH said the dolomite material used for the project is 100 times bigger than dust, hence it does not get suspended in the air that would make it hazardous.

The DOH said the “dolomite, in its bulk state, is not a known health hazard” and is not included in the list of carcinogens.

Shout out: Department of Health, Republic of the Philippines

Isko Moreno, City of Manila Mayor, also supported the previous claim of the government that the project is safe: “The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said it is not harmful to the environment,” he said. “We agree with that.”

Shout out: CNN Philippines, April 15, 2021

Further, the Supreme Court has not found the DENR to be in contempt for the  installation of the artificial white sand along the Manila Baywalk, ruling that it has not yet found any violation of its order to rehabilitate and preserve the harbor.

The tribunal denied the motion to intervene filed by progressive group Akbayan which alleged the DENR violated the SC’s continuing mandamus or order for the cleanup and maintenance of Manila Bay by dumping crushed dolomite onto a part of the bay.

The court has not found any violation of the continuing mandamus amidst the quarterly reports submitted by the concerned agencies and the on-site ocular inspection conducted by the Manila Bay Advisory Committee (MBAC). It is worth noting that the MBAC is chaired by Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, the only incumbent justice who was already in the tribunal when it came out with the landmark decision directing the government to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay twelve years previous.

The court also said the DENR “has not been remiss” in its duty to report the works of the concerned government agencies in compliance with the continuing mandamus.

That said, although there have been no violations, there does still remain some clear contention regarding the use of the dolomite. The court said the dolomite beach project came from the DENR’s own beach nourishment program and not the writ, meaning it was not an activity that could be “objectively measured as a deviation” from what the order mandated the government to do.

It is also very important to note, however, that “… The contention is bred only when the alleged hazardous potential of the component dolomite enters the picture, whereby it becomes clear that the bone of contention all along is not the project per se but the material used to carry it out,” the SC PIO (Supreme Court Public Information Office) said.

What Akbayan did, it said, was challenge “the wisdom behind the use of the component dolomite” a “factual issue” that the highest Philippine court does not ordinarily resolve.

“It is a challenge that properly lies in the realm of political questions which the Court may not venture into even incidentally in a contempt proceeding under the given circumstances.” 

Shout out: Supreme Court Public Information Office

Further, calcite (calcium carbonate), CaCO3, and other carbonate minerals, such as dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2 [after the additon of magnesium ions], are very important minerals in the ocean ecosystems of the world.

Dolomite rock is one of the few sedimentary rocks that undergoes a significant mineralogical change after it is deposited. They are originally deposited as calcite/aragonite rich limestones, but during a process call diagenesis the calcite and/or aragonite is altered to dolomite. The process is not metamorphism, but something just short of that. Magnesium rich ground waters that have a significant amount of salinity are probably crucial and warm, tropical near ocean environments are probably the best source of dolomite formation.

Shout out: Encyclopedia.com

No, crushed dolomite used in the beach nourishment project does not pose a threat to human health, because it is not inhalable. Only materials (whether natural or synthetic) that are 10 micrometers (microns) or smaller are inhalable; these pose a health hazard when inhaled because they can reach the lung tissues and enter the circulatory system. Fine beach sand and sediments, being around 90 microns (9 times larger), are therefore not a health hazard. Crushed dolomite is much bigger, measuring about 2 millimeters to 5 millimeters in diameter, or about the size of a grain of rice/corn, which is 100 times bigger than a particle of dust.

Shout out: http://www.denr.gov.ph

On September 7, 2020, Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that medical literature shows that crushed dolomite [dust particles] can cause adverse respiratory reactions. She clarified, however: “Hindi naman po natin sinasabi na when you go to Manila Bay, you’ll get it at once, pero ‘yon lang po ang sinasabi ng mga artikulo.” [“We’re not saying that when you go to Manila Bay, you’ll get it at once, but that’s what the articles say.”]

She also cited the effects of dolomite based on studies: “Dolomite dust, pag naging dust na siya, nag-aerosolize sa air — it can cause respiratory issues. Pag napunta sa mata, nagkakaroon ng irritations. Pag na-ingest, it can have discomfort sa gastrointestinal system natinmagkakaroon lang ng konting sakit ng tiyan at pagtatae. These are the minor effects of dolomite na nilagay doon sa Manila Bay,” she added. [“Dolomite, when it becomes dust, aerosolizes the air — it can cause respiratory issues. When it comes to the eyes, irritations develop. When ingested, it can have discomfort in our gastrointestinal system, there will only be a little stomach pain and diarrhea. These are the minor effects of dolomite placed there in Manila Bay.”]

Shout out: spot.ph

The Department of Health and marine experts from the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute also earlier warned that … prolonged dust inhalation may cause chronic health effects to the public. These risks include discomfort in the chest, shortness of breath, and coughing.

In September 2020, the [DENR] … assured the DOH that the dolomite material used for the project is bigger than dust and does not count as a health hazard.

Shout out: CNN Philippines, April 15, 2021

Dolomite is not included in the list of carcinogens; therefore, it does not cause cancer.

Shout out: http://www.denr.gov.ph

The notion that dolomite contains silica has fueled fears that it is poisonous; however, the silica content of dolomite is so negligible that it presents no danger, even if it is swallowed accidentally.

Shout out: http://www.denr.gov.ph

 

There was no overpricing in the project. The project was estimated to cover 30,000 to 49,000 square meters of engineering work. One critic divided the PHP 389M budget by 500 linear meters, which is the length and not the area or scope of the engineering work; this erroneous computation resulted in the PHP 778,000 pesos per meter.

The budget should be divided by at least 30,000 square meters, the actual work coverage area. This will yield a cost of PHP 12,967 per square meter, which is quite reasonable. Only PHP 28M of the PHP 389M allocation was used to emplace the crushed dolomite rocks. The PHP 28M covers not only the price of the crushed dolomite, but also includes the cost of delivery from Cebu to Manila Bay [as well as taxes and other fees].

Shout out: http://www.denr.gov.ph

 

As of November 2021, the beach nourishment project is on-budget. 

Shout out: DENR

 

As was announced in October 2022, the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) will provide necessary financial and technical assistance to the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development to help relocate informal settlers — from alongside our rivers, among other locations — through the construction of one million units annually until 2028.

This major development will not only — likely — decrease the amount of improperly disposed waste in our waterways, but will also — and as equally important, at minimum — assist individuals and families in dire need. 

 

Although the crushed dolomite sand is not easily washed out into the sea because its grain size is 0.6 mm – 2.8 mm in diameter (50 – 53% of the total weight), there has indeed, unfortunately, been some loss of dolomite sand — this is easily verified, visually.

Manila Bay Beach Editor

Two, sand-filled geotubes (with a 2-meter diameter each) were installed to mitigate soil erosion, prevent storm damage and provide stability for the project. It was decided by the DENR that using a geotextile tube system was a more economical method than the traditional method of breakwater construction.

Shout out: DENR

In late September 2020, most of the white sand was reported to be washed out because of the heavy rain. Geologist Ezekiel Galanto already warned the public about this in a GMA interview on September 17, 2020, when he said: “The washing out may take time this year or next year lalo na ngayon ay tayo ay pumapasok sa rainy season, lalo na tayo ay nasa La Niña alert pa.”

But DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones maintained on October 28, 2020 that “there is no truth to the news reports that the dolomite sand has already been washed out to the sea.” He added that the dolomite “will now not be washed out to the sea because of the geo-engineering intervention we put on the project.”

Shout out: Spot.ph

DENR is also planning to put dolomite sand in Manila Bay’s waters to let the artificial sand cover the black sand from the sea, according to DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones.

Shout out: GMA News, October 27, 2020

Yes. And — unfortunately — there will likely remain to be a problem with garbage washing up on the shore of the beach — and all other locations around Manila Bay — until the populace engages collectively in a necessary mindset shift regarding improper waste disposal. 

Manila Bay Beach Editor

Although it is still a work-in-progress, geo-engineering interventions such as trash booms and silt curtains were provided to [help] prevent garbage from reaching the beach.

The trash booms will act as a barrier to impede the floating garbage and debris coming from different parts of Manila Bay, which normally enters the vicinity of the Baywalk area.

Silt curtains are floating barriers used in marine construction, dredging projects for silt and turbidity control.

Shout out: DENR

 

The Estero Rangers (under the authority of DENR-NCR) and the MMDA Warriors (supervised by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) are tasked with keeping the beach clean on a daily basis.

Shout out: DENR

In addition to the DENR, MMDA and the DPS, Manila Bay Beach volunteers meet at the beach or along the Manila Baywalk — multiple days each week — to provide direct community assistance to the cleanliness of Manila Bay. 

If you are interested in contributing to the health of Manila Bay, please click on VOLUNTEER above to learn more.