MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, on Monday ordered the Manila Police District (MPD) to closely coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Manila City government in limiting the number of visitors at the Manila Bay dolomite beach and length of stay.
This came after thousands of people flocked to the beach over the weekend, resulting in an apparent disregard of minimum health protocols.
“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. My order includes continued cooperation with the local government to have a proper system, especially in bringing in children that we saw in the video and in the photos that posted on social media),” Eleazar said in a statement.
While he understands the excitement of people to go out following the easing of restrictions, Eleazar said this is not a reason for them to be complacent as the threat of coronavirus lingers.
“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 (This is not a reason to disregard the safety of everyone, especially the children they have included so it is clear in the policy that they cannot come out under the Covid Alert. Level 3 status),” he added.
On Sunday, authorities temporarily stopped the entry of visitors to the area when the crowd reached 4,000.
“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 (Our safety also depends on our self -discipline so the police will help to remind you of this because you may add to the upcoming Undas if you continue to ignore the rules for your safety in the midst of a pandemic),” said Eleazar.
The development of the dolomite beach comprises Phase 1 of the beach nourishment project undertaken by the DENR as part of Manila Bay’s rehabilitation.
The DENR-led rehabilitation aims to make Manila Bay’s water fit again for swimming and other contact recreational activities in compliance with a Supreme Court order issued in 2008. (PNA)