Pedestrians, motorists barred from Roxas Boulevard as part of APEC security
MANILA, Philippines — No swimmers. No joggers. No lovers.
Local tourists will not be able to bask in the glow of the famous Manila Bay sunset as the often-crowded Roxas Boulevard will be shut off starting Monday (Nov. 16) until Friday (Nov. 20).
Manila has announced that pedestrians are prohibited from strolling around Manila Bay’s boardwalk as part of the security arrangements for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meet.
“In compliance with the directive of Mayor [Joseph] Estrada and national authorities for our office to fully help in ensuring safety for APEC, we are closing Roxas Boulevard not only to vehicular traffic but also to foot traffic,” said Johnny Yu, the head of Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO).
“Motorists and pedestrians are temporarily prohibited from using Roxas Boulevard. Swimming in Manila Bay is still not allowed. Romantic dates are also not allowed,” he added.
Yu said this was the “first time” that the bay area was closed to pedestrians for a special occasion. Since the declaration of a “no-walk” zone in Manila Bay was often reserved during calamities. But Manila made the decision after a recommendation “from the different members of the joint task force overseeing the safety and security component requirements for the APEC events.”
Even joggers are not allowed in the popular jog site. And only accredited APEC personnel in charge of security and with proper identification cards will be seen during the time.
Roxas Boulevard in Manila is home to “key establishments and facilities.” The US Embassy lies here and a number of hotels, where some of APEC delegates and their groups will stay, are located along this major thoroughfare.
“I am appealing to Manilans and to the public in general to cooperate with the national and city authorities that are working to ensure the safety and security of APEC delegates, spouses and coterie of officials,” Estrada said in a statement.
“This time, we should give way to our foreign dignitaries so they and the whole world will appreciate the beauty and splendor of the finest harbor in the Far East,” he added. SFM
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