Palace: Manila Bay crowding for ‘white beach’ proof that rehab project a ‘right decision’
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday said the gathering of people at the Manila Bay over the weekend to see the “white sand” is proof that the beautification project was a “right decision.”
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said this in an online briefing even if he has cautioned the public on the possibility of contracting COVID-19 if sight-seeing in the area without observing physical distancing.
“Naintindihan po natin ‘yan dahil talagang ‘yan naman po ay nagpapatunay na tama ang desisyon ng DENR [Department of Environment and Natural Resources] at ang siyudad ng Maynila na lalo pang pagandahin ang Manila Bay,” he said in reaction to photos that circulated on social media showing the gathering of the crowd in Manila Bay on Sunday.
(We understand that this is proof that the DENR and the City of Manila made the right decision to enhance Manila Bay.)
“Ang panawagan lang namin sa taumbayan, the surest way po para kayo ay magkaroon ng COVID, ‘wag kayong mag-social distancing. Kaya nga po nananawagan din kami sa kapulisan na sana po ipatupad natin ang social distancing,” he went on.
(But we call on the public, the surest way to contract COVID-19 is to not observe social distancing. We are appealing to the police to enforce social distancing.)
A portion of Manila Bay that underwent a “white sand” makeover drew a large assembly on Sunday as it was opened to the public.
Photos shared on social media showed the throng of spectators appeared to not observe physical distancing despite the threat of COVID-19.
The Manila Bay incident was met with public backlash and consequently caused the relief of Ermita police station commander Lt. Col. Ariel Caramoan for allegedly failing to manage the crowd. Roque suggested giving five minutes to each group of 50 visitors to prevent crowding in that portion of Manila Bay.
“At para naman po mapagbigyan ang lahat, kung pwede po, 5 minutes per group lang diyan. Sapat na po ‘yan para singhutin ang hangin at tsaka mag-picture-picture, mag-selfie-selfie,” Roque said.
(To give everyone a chance, if possible, only 5 minutes per group should be implemented. That’s enough to inhale the air, take photos and selfies there.)
“’Wag na kayong mag-bathing suit diyan dahil baka lalong matagalan ang mga tao diyan. Five minutes lang po per group, 50 persons,” he added.
(Don’t wear a bathing suit there because it might cause the people to stay longer. Only five minutes per group of 50 persons.)
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.