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DENR eyes closure of dolomite beach on weekends

/ 02:15 PM October 26, 2021
Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno challenged the IATF to file charges against officials of the DENR over overcrowding at the dolomite beach.

People trooping to the Manila baywalk dolomite beach along Roxas boulevard in Manila city on October 17, 2021, a day after authorities eased its quarantine restrictions in the nation’s capital. (File photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)  is considering the closure of Manila Bay’s dolomite beach on Saturdays and Sundays after the artificial white sand attraction was deluged with visitors in the last two weekends when it was reopened to the public.

DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said in a press briefing on Tuesday that the number of visitors did not exceed 300 to 400 on weekdays, in contrast to reports that authorities have recorded over 4,000 visitors at one point on Sunday, which some experts say could be a venue for super spreader events.

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“As of the moment we can see that the problem is only [during] weekends,” Antiporda told reporters in a press briefing.

“We’re trying to consider and recommend, na kung weekends, sara muna natin sya [let’s close it on weekends for the meantime],” he added.

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The dolomite beach will also be closed during the All Saints Day and All Souls Day, according to DENR.

Minors aged 11 below are also now prohibited from visiting the man made beach after a firestorm of criticism.

Manila Bay’s dolomite beach, which is being developed as a new tourist destination, has been open every day from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Local tourists flocked to the artificial beach since then, which led to the disregard of minimum public health standards like social distancing.

To avert super spreader events, the Philippine National Police has deployed more cops to the site.

EDV

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TAGS: coronavirus restrictions, DENR, Dolomite Beach, health protocols, Manila Bay, Usec. Benny Antiporda
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