DENR: Dolomite Beach to remain closed to public to finish rehab works
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Bay’s dolomite beach will remain closed to public for now as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) continues to finish the rehabilitation project in the area.
DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones said on Wednesday that several rehabilitation works and projects which involve beautification and cleaning the water in the beach area are expected to be completed before the year ends or until the first quarter of 2022.
“Dahil po dito sa mga nasabi naming gawain at rehabilitation works na ipatutupad sa mga darating na araw, nais po naming ipabatid sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan na ang Manila Baywalk dolomite beach ay mananatili pong naka-sara, Leones said in a press conference.
(Because of the rehabilitation efforts that we promised, we would like to inform the public that the Manila Bay dolomite beach will remain closed.)
“Hinihingi po namin ang inyong pasensya at pang-unawa,” he added.
According to Leones, one of the projects would focus on cleaning the water at Manila Bay, so that people can not only visit the dolomite area but also take a bath on the beach without the threat of skin infection.
“Tulad ng aming naipangako, ipapagpatuloy po namin ang pagsasaayos ng Manila Bay. Tututukan po natin ngayon ang paglilinis ng tubig sa Manila Bay upang sa gano’n hindi na lamang pasyal ang maaaring gawin ng ating mga kababayan sa dolomite area, kung hindi pati ang pagligo at paglangoy sa nalalapit na panahon,” he explained.
(Just like what we promised, we will continue our project to beautify Manila Bay. We are focused on cleaning the water in the Manila Bay so that the beach is not only for people to visit but for them to have a swim.)
“Bukod sa paglilinis ng tubig, tatapusin na rin po natin ang mga ibang proyekto sa Manila Bay, kagaya po ng mga sumusunod: una, pagsasaayos ng mga drainage system sa mga households ng Padre Faura, Remedios, at Abad. Sa gagawin po nating ito, lahat po ng maduming tubig na nanggagaling sa mga kabahayan at industriya ay ida-divert po natin para linisin,” he added.
(Aside from cleaning the water, we will also finish the project in the Manila Bay like the clearing of the drainage system of households along Padre Faura, Remedios and Abad. We will do this so that the waste water can be diverted to pass through a sanitation process.)
Leones also noted that the department found a high fecal coliform level in the areas near the dolomite beach.
“Number two: gagawin rin po natin ang outwall na malapit sa dolomite garden kung saan nakitaan po ng mataas na fecal coliform level, ayon po ito sa pagsasample na ginawa,” he said.
“Lahat po ito ay tatapusin natin ngayong taong 2021, o kung magkakaroon man ng pagbabago sa Alert Level sa NCR, hanggang sa unang quarter ng 2022,” he added.
(We will also put up an outwall dear the dolomite garden where there is a high level of fecal coliform level. All of these we will accomplish this 2021 or if there would be changes in the alert level it will be done in the first quarter of 2022.)
The dolomite beach has attracted controversy when it was started in 2020, as opposition figures said that the funds for the project should have been allocated to the COVID-19 response or the provision of social aid for poor communities.
Then this year, the dolomite beach became a hot topic again after visitors frequented it — with crowds swelling to over 4,000 at one point — after the easing of quarantine restrictions.
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