Did The Manila Bay White Sand Project Unintentionally Transformed Real Estate In The Philippines?

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If you want to know more about the crushed dolomite "white sand" in Manila Bay, this is not what this video is about. 

What I’m going to talk about is what happens next. 

Not politically, but its potential impact to the future of the real estate industry in the country. 

This is what will happen. Local developers will buy a raw beachfront property that is below market value because its shoreline is murky or has dark sand and is not eye catching. Developer then dumps crushed dolomite on top then voila, it transforms into a white sand beach.

Think of luxury residences on a white sand beach like Sheraton Residences, Tambuli Seaside Living and Aruga in Mactan, Cebu. These projects offer condominium units at a premium price because of the white sand beach front. 

The potential of this dolomite sand can be transformational.  

But can you dump dolomite sand into your beachfront when all beaches in the Philippines are owned by the state?

The answer is yes. 

To do this you must obtain a Foreshore Lease from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR.

This application, when approved, will allow you, as a lessee, possession, and control over the beach, from the high tide mark to the low tide mark. 

While there are concerns for owning beachfront properties, let alone rehabilitated ones, like natural calamities such as typhoons, erosions, shifting shorelines and high cost of maintenance, the potential of these crushed dolomites as white sand is too good to pass up.

Now that we are done with the bright side, let us talk about the dark side and that is the potential massive destruction of the environment. 

The Manila Bay project might also open the floodgates to widespread plunder of our natural wealth, benefiting only a few but sacrificing the many.
Think of mountains of dolomite being flattened because of shoreline rehabilitation. This can cause landslides and floods.

What I am trying to say is that we are in a good position to review existing laws like republic act no. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. This is an act instituting a new system of mineral resources exploration, development, utilization, and conservation.

Under section 2, it is stipulated that 
“It shall be the responsibility of the State to promote their rational exploration, development, utilization and conservation through the combined efforts of government and the private sector in order to enhance national growth in a way that effectively safeguards the environment and protect the rights of affected communities”.

Being a real estate agent, I am all for more projects and development that help create more residential options to more Filipinos, but this should be balanced by protecting our natural environmental.

It should not only be good with the eyes but also good with the heart.

Once again, this is George Ryan Sarmago, Unit manager for Filipino Homes.

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