DepEd says fund for Manila Bay’s white sand could have been used for distance learning

DepEd says fund for Manila Bay’s white sand could have been used for distance learning

- The Department of Education has aired its thoughts regarding the budget for the white sand to be dumped in Manila Bay

- The education department said that the budget could have been used for distance learning

- The Palace explained that the budget was already approved in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic

- The Department of Health (DOH) also cited medical research that the sand used could raise health problems when inhaled

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The Department of Education (DepEd) has commented over the funds used to dump white sand over the Baywalk area in Manila Bay.

KAMI learned that DepEd said that the P389 million could have been used for distance learning amid the COVID-19 crisis.

DepEd says fund for Manila Bay’s white sand could have been used for distance learning
Photo from Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

In a report by ABS-CBN News (authored by Jaehwa Bernard), DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones explained that if the same budget was given to the education department, it could have been used to buy gadgets.

“Kung, halimbawa, may P389 million na ibibigay ang pamahalaan sa departamento, sigurado ako na malaking bahagi diyan mapupunta sa, halimbawa, sa pangangailangan ng gadgets," Briones said.

However, she said that she does not want to meddle with the budget given to other departments.

"Hindi kami nakikialam sa budget ng may budget. Pero, kung may budget kami na ganoon kahalaga, pupunta 'yan sigurado ako sa gadgets," she said.

Meanwhile, as reported by Inquirer (authored by Christia Marie Ramos), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque argued that the P389 million budget was approved in 2019, even before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the country.

“So it’s not as if plinano po itong proyektong ito ngayong panahon ng COVID-19, hindi po. 2020 budget na ginagamit natin para sa proyektong ito 2019 pa po na-approve, wala pa pong COVID noon,” Roque said.

According to CNN Philippines, the Department of Health said that medical research claimed that crushed dolomite or the sand being used in Manila Bay could cause health problems like eye irritation and respiratory problems.

“Mayroon pong mga sinasabi sa mga pagaaral na kapag na-inhale natin ito, ng mga tao, may mga adverse reactions - sa respiratory mainly,” Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

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President Rodrigo Duterte pushed to rehabilitate the Manila Bay under his term.

Earlier, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced that placing white sand along Baywalk is part of Manila Bay’s rehabilitation program.

Right after the “Save Manila Bay” project by the government, the netizens were amazed by the breathtaking result and shared it on social media.

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