MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Project can be postponed. However, workers in the said project might lose their jobs.
The recent dumping of dolomite in Manila Bay drew ire from netizens saying the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic should be the government’s priority.
DENR Spokesperson Jonas Leones said the budget can be allotted to the COVID-19 response through supervening events; however, Leones stressed that all the budget cannot be allotted to the pandemic response alone.
“Pwede naman iyon kung talagang ganoon ang situation kaya lang hindi naman pupwedeng, sa akin personally, hindi naman pupwedeng lahat ng budget ay ilagay din natin doon (It can be done if that is the situation, but personally, we cannot put all the budget in the [COVID-19] response),” he said.
Leones reiterated the rehabilitation project has already been planned and there will be workers that will be affected if the project is suspended.
“Kung ititigil natin lahat ito, wala na tayong accomplishment wala pa ring work ang mga tao rito(If we will suspend this, we won’t have accomplishments and the people here will lose their jobs),” he said.
The Department reiterates that the project should push through despite the criticisms from various groups.
The Manila Bay Rehabilitation Project is around 50%-60% complete, it added. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)