Despite quarantine measures that discourage doing non-essential things outside the home, hundreds of people still gathered at Manila Bay to see, touch and walk on the controversial “white sand” as it opened briefly to the public Saturday on the occasion of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day.

20200919 20200919064909 IMG 5197 1 1024x683 - Health guidelines ignored as hundreds gather at Manila Bay despite quarantine
(JANSEN ROMERO/ MANILA BULLETIN)

In photos and videos circulating on social media, people were seen taking pictures, holding zumba sessions, among others, while parents tagged their children, even babies, along.

Dozens of senior citizens—who are still not allowed outside their homes according to health guidelines because of their vulnerability to the coronavirus disease—also trooped to the area, holding a tarpaulin with an image of President Duterte.

“Manila Bay ang muling pagbangon sa ilalim ng Duterte administration,” the writing on the tarpaulin read.

Many violated the one-meter physical distancing protocol before the eyes of law enforcers as they took photos and selfies of the supposedly improved Manila Bay.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso led the clean-up activity among other government officials and inspected the Manila Bay beach.

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