MPD tasked to talk with Manila LGU about crowd control at ‘dolomite beach’
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Police District (MPD) has been directed to coordinate with the Manila local government and other concerned government agencies like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in creating a system that would limit the number of people going to the Manila Baywalk Dolomite beach.
As crowds swelled at the dolomite beach over the weekend, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar told MPD director Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco to increase the number of police officers deployed in the area.
In the viral videos and photos on social media, Eleazar said that children are being taken out of their homes for leisurely days out, and people ignore health protocol.
“Inatasan ko na ang Director, MPD na magdagdag ng pulis sa Dolomite area ng Manila Bay upang tiyakin na nasusunod ang minimum public health safety protocols,” Eleazar said.
(I have tasked the Director of the MPD to increase the number of police deployed to the dolomite area of the Manila Bay to ensure that minimum public health safety protocols are being followed.)
“Kasama sa aking utos ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa lokal na pamahalaan upang magkaroon ng maayos na sistema, lalo na sa pagdadala ng mga bata na nakita natin sa video at sa mga litrato na kumalat sa social media,” he added.
(Along with my directive is for MPD to coordinate with the local government to create an efficient system, especially with reports and video feed showing children playing along the dolomite beach, which are already spreading on social media.)
Placing a system for the dolomite beach may mean putting a quota on the number of visitors in the area per time and limiting their time of stay in the beach.
The PNP chief said that he understands the people’s yearning to go out of their homes after months of staying indoors due to the most recent surge caused by the COVID-19 Delta variant. However, they would also like to remind the public that disregarding health protocols may lead to another uptick in COVID-19 infections.
“Nauunawaan natin ang kasabikan ng ilan nating mga kababayan na lumabas dahil sa mahabang lockdown subalit hindi dahilan ito upang ipagsawalang-bahala ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa, lalo na ang mga batang isinama nila gayong malinaw sa patakaran na hindi pa puwede silang lumabas under the COVID Alert Level 3 status,” he added.
(We understand the excitement of some of our fellow Filipinos about going outside because of the long lockdown but this is not enough reason to set aside the safety of people, especially if you accompany children when the rules are clear that they cannot go outside under the COVID Alert Level 3 status.)
“Ang ating kaligtasan ay nakasalalay din sa disiplina natin sa sarili kaya tutulong ang mga pulis upang ipaalala ito sa inyo dahil baka humabol kayo sa Undas kung patuloy ninyong babalewalain ang mga patakaran para sa inyong kaligtasan sa gitna ng pandemya,” he explained.
(Our health is also reliant on our self-discipline. That is why the police would help remind us about this because you might join this year’s All Souls’ Day if you continue to do away with the health protocols for your safety amid the pandemic.)
Earlier, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque reminded the public that crowding the dolomite beach might do more harm than good if people become complacent, leading to a super spreader event.
The reminder came as several government agencies, from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to the Department of Health (DOH), warned against the massive crowding observed at the dolomite beach in the past two weekends.
On Sunday, there were reports that authorities have recorded over 4,000 individuals at the dolomite beach, leading authorities to close the area temporarily.
The dolomite beach, a controversial project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), was initiated in 2020 in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Opponents criticized it as they believed the funds could have been allocated to the COVID-19 response.
Last October 20, DENR said that they are eyeing to make the dolomite beach a tourist spot.
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