The Dolomite beach at the Manila Bay will be closed again to the public after its brief reopening, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced Wednesday, Nov. 3.
This means that its five-day temporary closure, which started on Oct. 29 in observance of the All Saints’ Day and the All Souls’ Day, will continue.
According to Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones, the closure will allow the agency to finish the pending rehabilitation works in the Dolomite beach as well as improve the fecal coliform level of the Manila Bay’s waters.
“Abot kamay na matatapos na namin (We can finish it). The main objective is the water quality… Ang talagang objective natin matapos ‘yan (Our objective is to finish it) within the year, hindi ‘yung within the administration. Pipilitin yan matapos (We will try our best),” added Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny Antiporda in a press conference.
In a statement, DENR said it would work on the the following:
1. Fixing of the drainage system in the outfalls of Padre Faura, Remedios and Abad. All dirty waters coming from the residential areas and establishments will be “diverted.”
2. Fixing of the outfall near the Dolomite Rock Garden, wherein a high fecal coliform level was reported.
3. Extension of the Dolomite beach up to 500 meters and the installation of geo-engineering interventions.
4. Rehabilitation of the fishing area near the Manila Yatch Club.
5. Building of two “solar-powered comfort rooms,” souvenir shop and a Mandamus Office.
6. Lighting and landscaping of the Baywalk Area.
On Oct. 16, the Manila Baywalk Dolomite beach reopened to the public, but was closed again after two weeks amid overcrowding concerns that even led to the relief of Manila Bay Task Force Ground Commander Jacob Meimban.
The reopening was marred by criticisms from the public and even from some government officials after it drew a total of 322,718 visitors—a number unimaginable amid COVID-19 pandemic. These included minors, who were not yet allowed to go out under Alert Level 3 guidelines being enforced in Metro Manila.