Manila Mayor Isko Moreno is requesting the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to barricade the Manila Bay white beach after visitors failed to observe physical distancing over the weekend.
Moreno also discouraged the public from visiting the Manila Bay Sands due to COVID-19 threats, according to a video posted by Super Radyo dzBB’s Isa Avendaño-Umali on Twitter.
“Pakiusap ko lang sa mamamayan, gustuhin man nating makita ‘yung Manila Bay white sands, e siguro may iba pa namang panahon,” Manila Mayor Moreno said.
“I already asked DENR to close ‘yung bakod dahil hard hat pa, may construction pang nagaganap,” he added.
Moreno said it is enough that the public already saw the Manila Bay white beach through media.
“Ipagpaliban po muna natin ang pagpunta,” he added.
The Mayor reminded the public that the virus is still present, although he understands everyone’s excitement for the beach nourishment project.
“Alam ko po marami sa inyo, nasisiyahan, nagagalak sapagkat ito ay kakaibang pangyayari. ‘Yung imposible naging possible,” he said.
“Ngunit, naalala ko pa rin meron pang pandemya. Meron pa akong pangamba, panganib sa lungsod ng Maynila,” Moreno added.
Manila Bay white beach
Meanwhile, authorities issued a temporary ban on picture-taking at Manila Bay Sands.
Jonathan Andal reported Unang Balita on Monday that police officers were strategically deployed in areas near the Manila Bay Sands, including the nearby footbridge, where onlookers typically take photos.
Authorities said people could still use the footbridge, but they are not allowed to stop and take pictures of the white sand beach. The same rule applies along the Baywalk area, the report said.
On Saturday, the Manila Bay white sand beach was temporarily opened to the public. As a result, many people showed up but failed to observed physical distancing and were not wearing face shields.
The incident resulted in the chief of Ermita Police’s removal from his post for his station’s failure to impose social distancing during protocols during the opening of the Manila Bay Sands over the weekend.
The Manila Bay white beach is part of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) P389-million Manila Bay beautification project.