DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Benny Antiporda dismissed the idea of closing the Manila Bay Dolomite Beach to the public after thousands of people trooped to the area over the weekend.
Many people saw the gathering at the Dolomite Beach a super-spreader event amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
"Hindi po natin maaaring gawin 'yun [na isara]. Kung tayo ang gumastos ng ganu'ng napakalaki para lang po isara 'yan, I don't think it will be fair to the Filipino people," Antiporda said in a radio interview.
"The Dolomite Beach was opened to relieve the anxiety of the people amid the pandemic, but we will not permit a superspreader. We are recalibrating our system to ensure the safety of our people. We are doing our best to satisfy everybody," he added.
Antiporda said that together with the concerned government agencies, like the local government of Manila, they are already modifying the guidelines to ensure the safety of the public, especially against Covid-19, when visiting the areas.
He said to ensure people will follow minimum health protocols when visiting the site, they are considering implementing a limit on people who can enter the beach at the same time, as well as the period of time they can stay there.
He said visitors can only stay at the beach for 15 minutes per batch.
Antiporda said the Manila LGU will also deploy additional security and safety officers to the facility to ensure that physical distancing is observed.
Manila Police District Director Brigadier Leo Francisco said more or less 65,000 people visited the Dolomite Beach over the weekend.
He said they will deploy more cops in the area to caution people, particularly those violating minimum health protocols.
The National Government has spent P389 million for the Manila Bay Dolomite Beach project. (SunStar Philippines)