Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Monday asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to close off Manila Bay to the public after throngs of people visited the area without regard for physical distancing guidelines over the weekend.
Domagoso said it is dangerous for people to be there because construction works are still ongoing.
The Manila mayor also urged the public not to visit Manila Bay now due to the threat of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).
“Pakiusap ko sa mga mamamayan, gustuhin man nating makita ‘yung Manila Bay white sand, eh, siguro may iba pa namang paraan (My appeal to the public is this, although we would like to see the white sands in Manila Bay, maybe there is another way to do it),” the mayor said.
For now, the people should make do with the images of the synthetic white sand in the area that are shown by the media, Domagoso said.
The local chief executive vowed that they will continue to enforce physical distancing and other health protocols in the area.
Originally, Manila Bay was scheduled to open to the public every weekend.
Over a thousand people flocked to Manila Bay to see its synthetic white sand when it was partially opened to the public on September 19 and 20.
Manila Police District (MPD) Director Rolando Miranda admitted that they had difficulty in controlling the “excited” crowd.
The authorities’ apparent failure to control the crowd during the weekend led to the administrative relief of Lt. Col. Ariel Caramoan who was the commander of the Ermita Police Station.