The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) expressed elation over the strong public reception of the Manila Bay Dolomite Beach when it reopened to the public on Saturday, October 16, as Metro Manila was eased into Alert Level 3 status.
“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the public which made the reopening of the Manila Bay Dolomite Beach truly successful,” said DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.
Crowds flocked to Roxas Boulevard to spend some time and take selfies on the dolomite beach—the newest tourist attraction along the Manila Baywalk area—with DENR personnel and security marshals making sure that health and safety protocols were strictly observed.
The public got to experience the dolomite beach for the first time when it briefly opened from July 18 to 21. The 140-meter beach area comprises the Phase 1 of the Manila Bay Beach Nourishment Project of the DENR.
The reopening of the dolomite beach was a collective decision of the Manila Bay Inter-Agency Task Force headed by Cimatu, following the downgrading of COVID-19 alert level in Metro Manila.
Aside from promoting positive mental health, Cimatu said the dolomite beach offers another option to view the scenic Manila Bay sunset aside from the customary sunset view at the Baywalk portion near Remedios Street in Malate, Manila.
“We will gradually expand the area accessible to the public for viewing in the coming weeks as we progress on with the completion of the project,” Cimatu said.
During the soft opening of the dolomite beach in July, only 120 visitors per batch were allowed to stay for 5 minutes from 9 a.m to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
This time around, Cimatu said visitors may stay as long as they want to while the limit of 300 individuals will have to be observed during the adjusted open hours from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
There is no need for people to be vaccinated to enter the premises, but wearing of face masks is mandatory, Cimatu said.
The DENR official said the use of face shield is optional.
Cimatu said that while the rehabilitation efforts “have already made a significant improvement in its water quality,” bathing is still prohibited as the waters still haven’t reached the standard level acceptable for swimming.
According to DENR Administrative Order 2016-08 on Water Quality Guidelines and General Effluent Standards of 2016, fecal coliform level for marine water bodies should be at 100 most probable number per 100 milliliters to be classified as Class SB or fit for swimming and other contact recreation.
Visitors are also not allowed to bring food, drinks and pets; pick up dolomite sand; spit; and litter.
“We appeal to the public not to litter at all times while in the vicinity. Leave nothing but good memories behind after your visit to the beachfront,” Cimatu appealed. ###
- Published: 17 October 2021