Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso reiterated his support for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Manila Bay “white sand” project, saying that it could boost tourism and business in the city, particularly along Roxas Boulevard.
This comes after he asked the environment department to temporarily block public access in the area after hundreds of people came to visit and ignored physical distancing guidelines over the weekend.
“I think all the hotels on Roxas Boulevard will benefit from this, so business will boom,” he said in a public briefing on Wednesday.
“’Yung ating mga negosyo sa Roxas Boulevard ay magkakaroon ng high demand (There will be a high demand for our businesses on Roxas Boulevard) in a matter of time,” he added.
Domagoso also said that the synthetic white sand or crushed dolomite rocks dumped in Manila Bay served as a symbol of hope for the public amid the country’s fight against the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).
However, he appealed to the people to put aside plans to visit Manila Bay, not only because of the pandemic, but also because construction works are still ongoing.
“Alam kong gustong-gusto niyong malaman at maramdaman ‘yung talagang kakaibang nangyari sa Manila Bay, na atin namang pinagpapasalamat sa DENR family (I know that you really want to know and feel the extraordinary thing that happened in Manila Bay, of which we thank your DENR family for),” he said. “Konting tiis na lang (Just bear with it for a little bit longer).”
Over a thousand people flocked to Manila Bay on September 19 and 20 to see its artificial white sand after the DENR temporarily opened the area to the public.
The apparent disregard for physical distancing and other health and safety guidelines in the crowd led to the administrative relief of Lt. Col. Ariel Caramoan, who was the Ermita Police Station commander.