Manila Bay rehabilitation

Manila Bay watchdog to file writ of kalikasan vs dolomite dumping

Iya Gozum

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Manila Bay watchdog to file writ of kalikasan vs dolomite dumping

Screenshot from Manila Baywatch media briefing on September 18

The alliance plans to file the writ within 2-3 weeks to give government leeway to 'rectify its error'

A coalition of advocates, experts, and communities monitoring Manila Bay rehabilitation programs is set to file a writ of kalikasan against the dumping of crushed dolomite along the Manila Baywalk.

In a media briefing on Friday, September 18, Manila Baywatch cited the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) inability to present an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to prove the dolomite dumping underwent thorough study and assessment.

Infrawatch PH convenor Terry Ridon said the project is already a prima facie case for the Supreme Court, given DENR’s non-compliance of its own environmental regulations. 

“Kumuha po sila ng sertipikasyon na exempted sa ECC [ang] proyekto na ito. Problema po ito sapagkat ang Manila Bay ay nasa isang area na tinatagurian pong environmentally critical area,” said Ridon.

(“They acquired an exemption from getting an ECC. This is a problem because Manila Bay is an environmentally critical area.”)

The alliance plans to file the writ of kalikasan within 2-3 weeks to give ample time to the DENR to obtain an ECC and “rectify its error,” said Ridon.

A writ of kalikasan is a legal remedy protecting the constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology. In 2008, the Supreme Court issued an SC Mandamus mandating government agencies to rehabilitate Manila Bay and improve water quality. (READ: [OPINION] In defense of Manila Bay)

The environment department does not hinder plans of filing writ of kalikasan

During the DENR budget hearing on September 8, Undersecretary Jonas Leones assured lawmakers that projects will continue whatever the court decides.

“Karapatan po nila mag-file…. Kahit ipahinto ng Supreme Court, ang comprehensive rehabilitation po ng Manila Bay ay magtutuloy-tuloy pa rin dahil hindi lang po sa beach nourishment matitigil yung ating effort to rehabilitate Manila Bay,” Leones said.

(“It is their right to file the writ of kalikasan. If the Supreme Court orders to stop the project, rehabilitation efforts in Manila Bay will still continue.”)

Bayan Muna Representative Eufemia Cullamat had filed HB 1194 ordering the investigation of the dolomite dumping.

The white sand project is expected to be finished by September 19. –

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Iya Gozum

Iya Gozum covers the environment, agriculture, and science beats for Rappler.