The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Central Visayas recently tested seawater from the surface, middle and bottom sections of four stations around the mining plant of the Philippine Mining Services Corporation (PSMC)—the contractor for the Manila Bay beautification project—which revealed heavy siltation and deficient coral cover.
The assessment revealed that excess total suspended solids (TSS; non-dissolved particles in water) in each of the four stations far exceeded the guideline value indicated for TSS (25 milligrams per liter).
The Central Visayas arm of the environmental department meanwhile examined the coral, fish and seagrass in those same areas and learned that coral reefs seemed to appear only in patches. Studies done in 2017 as well the recently conducted study near the PSMC both found coral cover to be in poor condition, despite a minor increase (3.57%) in coral cover since three years ago.
These findings have urged Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia to write to environment secretary Roy Cimatu regarding the consolidated report, while a copy was also handed to the Cebu Provincial Board for “necessary action.”
Garcia released a cease-and-desist order on supplying dolomite and other mineral to PSMC and Dolomite Mining Corporation (DMC) in order to curb additional environmental degradation from these operations.
Some months ago, the DENR shelved mining operations based on marine damage caused by dolomite. This same dolomite was used to simulate white sand in a stretch of beach in Manila Bay.