Supreme Court of the Philippines

Supreme Court wants DENR to submit study on dolomite’s effect on people

Lian Buan
Supreme Court wants DENR to submit study on dolomite’s effect on people

Chief Justice Peralta Receives DENR Report on Manila Bay. Photo courtesy of SC PIO


Chief Justice Peralta says he is satisfied with the efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay so far

The Supreme Court asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to submit to the Court the effects of dolomite on people, as the government’s beautification project in Manila Bay faced mounting criticisms.

“The Chief Justice, for his part, asked the DENR to submit scientific studies and findings as to the effects of dolomite to people,” the Supreme Court said in a statement on Wednesday, October 14.

Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta joined the DENR on a site visit of Manila Bay on Wednesday, where DENR officials defended to the top magistrate its use of dolomite to mimic white sand.

“DENR said that the use of dolomite is not hazardous to health, noting that the dolomite in natural bulk state is not a known health hazard. Crushed dolomite material is 100 times bigger than dust, therefore does not get suspended in air,” the Supreme Court said, citing the DENR.

Peralta chairs the Supreme Court Manila Bay Advisory Committee, which would monitor the government’s compliance to a continuing mandamus to rehabilitate Manila Bay. A continuing mandamus is a continuing order for agencies to perform functions to protect and rehabilitate Manila Bay.

The mandamus was issued way back in 2008.

As a response to the criticized dolomite project, progressive group Akbayan filed a motion before the Supreme Court seeking to hold the DENR in contempt for violating the mandamus.

The request to submit a study is not part of that case.

Peralta said the en banc would deliberate on Akbayan’s petition on November 3. Peralta was the member-in-charge of that motion, because internal rules dictate that whoever was part of the original petition and is still with the Supreme Court would be the new ponente.


In an interview with reporters, Peralta said he would not comment on dolomite for now as it was a matter pending before the Court but the chief justice said he was “satisfied” with the “impressive” improvement to clean the water.

“‘Yung purpose kasi ng continuing mandamus eh is clean the water eh. And if you ask me kung satisfied ako, eh satisfied ako dahil malinis ‘yung tubig eh,” said Peralta.

(The purpose of the continuing mandamus is to clean the water. If you ask me if I’m satisfied, I am satisified wbecause the water is clean.

Peralta said the DENR has more than complied to its obligations under the mandamus.

“Talagang sumusunod ng husto ang DENR. Lahat ng presentation nila kanina at meron din akong mga kasama na justices ng Supreme Court at nakita naman namin na maayos ang mga ginagawa nila, since the time that the executive order was issued by the president in December of 2019,” said Peralta.

(The DENR is strictly compliant. Based on their presentations earlier, I and my fellow Supreme Court justices saw that they are doing well, since the time that the executive order was issued by the President in December 2019.) –

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.