(Screenshot taken from Dada Koo’s vlog)

 

The Department of Health (DOH)  Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Wednesday warned that inhaling the crushed dolomite rock, which is dumped by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to beautify the Manila Bay coastline, may trigger respiratory problems, and other possible health issues.

Vergeire was reacting to the recent effort of the DENR to transform the Manila Bay shoreline with white sand by putting crushed dolomite rocks from Cebu province. The P389-million beach nourishment project drew flak on social media and even trended on Twitter. 

“Ito pong dolomite, base po sa pag-aaral, kapag na-inhale natin ito, may mga adverse reaction [sa] respiratory system, mainly,” Vergeire said in an online briefing.

“Based on studies and medical literature, it can cause respiratory issues to a person. Kapag napunta sa mata, magkakaroon ng kaunting irritation. Kapag na-ingest, magkakaroon ng gastro-intestinal discomfort, pagkakasakit ng tiyan at pagtatae…ito iyong mga minor effects,” she added.

Vergeire, however, said that it is for the DENR to say if such an initiative is a sound move amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vergeire later clarified that only the DENR has the power to say if the said initiative was a worthy move amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat.

“Hindi naman po nila ipapatupad kung hindi nila napag-aralan or if this will cause harm to our environment and the people,” she said.

“Ang sa atin po, people should still observe minimum health standards para makaiwas po tayo sa epekto ng dolomite diyan sa Manila Bay,” the health official noted.

Earlier, former National Press Club President and now Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda defended that initiative and claimed that beautifying the Manila Bay coastline with white sand will discourage people from littering and throwing trash in the ocean. 

Antiporda also claimed that dolomite is not harmful to the environment as it is also found in sea corals. RJ Espartinez