PRESS STATEMENT OF THE DENR ON THE OVERCROWDING INCIDENT IN THE MANILA BAYWALK DOLOMITE BEACH
We are well aware that we are still in a pandemic situation.
When we opened the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach, we did not expect that it would be warmly accepted by throngs of Filipinos from all walks of life, who descended on the Dolomite beach in the west of Metro Manila, breathing fresh air, walking on the dolomite sands, and above all, gazing at the famous manila bay sunset. We saw that they enjoyed the much-needed respite from the monotony of numerous lockdowns that we have experienced for the past 2 years now.
It is against this backdrop that the Dolomite Beach reopens.
The DENR wants to provide our people with an open space, amidst the Pandemic, with a magnificent vista of white sand and seascape. We also want to show to our people how we manage to turn this trash-laden and polluted area before into a clean white beach through the beach nourishment approach.
And the public acceptance has been surprisingly overwhelming through the thousands of people trooping to the Dolomite Beach since we opened on Oct. 16 up to yesterday.
We are aware that if this situation continue, and the minimum health standards are ignored, this may bring us to a scenario of a possible super spreader event.
We have, therefore, immediately implemented the temporary ban on minors to enter the
Dolomite Beach, consistent with IATF protocols.
In addition, members of the Manila Bay Task Force had agreed yesterday to implement the following measures to significantly reduce the number of visitors to the Dolomite Beach in order to check the spread of COVID-19 and following IATF protocols, viz:
1. The Dolomite Beach is closed every Friday for maintenance work.
2. The Dolomite Beach will be closed on Oct 29-Nov 3 in the observance of Undas and in accordance with IATF protocols.
3. Observance of the minimum health protocols will be strictly observed by implementing measures to meet the capacity of the area to avoid crowding and to give way to some repairs in some parts of the beach.
4. SUBSTANTIAL REDUCTION of visitors will be imposed TO GIVE WAY TO PENDING REHABILITATION WORKS IN THE DOLOMITE BEACH AREA, PARTICULARLY THE ACTIVITIES TO ADDRESS WATER QUALITY. As such, crowd control measures will be implemented, such as, rotation approach and cinema approach, wherein allotment of time to visit and stay will be imposed.
5. In accordance with existing laws, PWD, Senior citizens, and pregnant women are to be accorded with a special lane inside the Dolomite Beach.
We respectfully request your understanding.
Rest assured that the DENR with close collaboration of the member agencies of the Manila Bay Task Force, will continue to clean and rehabilitate Manila Bay.