Isko Moreno asks IATF to sue DENR execs over dolomite beach opening | Inquirer News

Isko Moreno asks IATF to sue DENR execs over dolomite beach opening

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno challenged the IATF to file charges against officials of the DENR over overcrowding at the dolomite beach.

People troop to the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach on Roxas Boulevard in Manila on Oct. 17, 2021, a day after authorities eased its quarantine restrictions in the nation’s capital. (File photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso wants the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to take to court officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) over the reopening of the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach.

In an interview on Tuesday with ANC, Domagoso said the DENR, through the Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO), decided to reopen the beach without proper coordination with the city government.


“We were not informed,” he said, noting that the overcrowding at the beach on Sunday was a potential “superspreader.”

Domagoso said the DENR had control over the area due to its continuous development initiatives. “In fact, they set up a gate to serve as an entrance to the dolomite [beach]. But due diligence must be observed, especially in this situation wherein it can be a superspreader,” he said, adding:


“I am calling on the IATF. Charge those people in DENR of violating … our rules.”

In a press conference, Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones said he “cannot comment” on the mayor’s remark. But he said the DENR would coordinate with the Manila government in the implementation of crowd control measures.

The MBCO reopened the beach on Oct. 17 in an effort to help the public “relax” after the pandemic lockdowns.


Speaking at the Malacañang briefing, Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said new guidelines would be enforced for beach visitors and “recalibrated” if the alert level in Metro Manila would be lowered.

Antiporda said the DENR appreciated the people coming to the beach as they showed their support for the government’s efforts to revive Manila Bay.

He said the beach was opened to the public “to help our countrymen alleviate their anxiety during this pandemic.”

“Their reaction is overwhelming, [which reflects] their support for the beautification of Manila Bay. It gave the people hope, that a place filled with garbage before is now very beautiful,” he said.

Antiporda said criticism of the beach project had also fueled public curiosity, which resulted in numbers of people seeing the place for themselves and judging if the government had done the right thing. INQ

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TAGS: covid-19 protocols, DENR, IATF, Isko Moreno, Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach, Mass Gathering
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