Visitors who are out to see the newly-opened “dolomite beach” along the stretch of Roxas Boulevard in Manila Bay should brace not only for refreshing sceneries but also for more police personnel that will remind them to strictly observe the minimum public health standards (MPHS).
Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), ordered the deployment of additional forces in the so-called dolomite beach in Manila Bay after it was opened for public viewing on Tuesday, July 20.
“I have tasked the Manila Police District to deploy additional policemen in the area to ensure that persons who visit the beach observe minimum public health safety standards and follow quarantine protocols,” Eleazar said.
“Kailangan ng masusing pagpa-plano at regular na monitoring sa lugar upang matiyak na hindi na maulit ang nangyari last year na hindi nasunod ang social distancing ng mga taong bumibisita (We need a deliberate planning and regular monitoring in the area to ensure that there won’t be a repeat of the incident last year where social distancing was not followed by the flocking visitors),” he added.
On September 19, 2020, the white beach attracted thousands of visitors after it was launched and opened to the public for the first time. Out of excitement to see the new tourist attraction, the visitors failed to observe social distancing which tainted what was supposed to be a joyous occasion.
The incident resulted in the relief of Lt. Col. Areil Caramoan as the station commander of Ermita Police Station for command responsibility.
“Mahigpit ang bilin ng SILG Secretary Eduardo Ano na iwasang mangyari ang super spreader events lalo ngayon na may mga report ng local transmission ng COVID-19 Delta variant (Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano has a stern warning to avoid super spreader events especially since there are reports about the local transmission of COVID-19 Delta variant),” Eleazar said.
The PNP chief also appealed for the public’s cooperation on the matter.
“Sa mga kababayan naman natin na nagpaplano pumunta sa dolomite beach, sumunod tayo sa mga alituntunin at huwag na tayong maging pasaway dahil para din ito sa inyong kaligtasan (To the public who are planning to go to the dolomite beach, follow the rules and do not disobey them because these are for your own safety),” Eleazar said.
Visitors are allowed to roam and walk around the beach for only five minutes to avoid overcrowding.
The white sand beach is actually filled by crushed dolomite rocks and part of the government’s efforts to rehabilitate Manila Bay.
However, the beautification project worth P389 million and led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) sparked public outrage after it was started at a time when the country was struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.