The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is set to reopen Manila Bay’s dolomite beach on June 12.
DENR Secretary Jim Sampulna said the beach will be reopened to the public on June 12 coinciding with the country’s celebration of Independence Day.
“We are excited to open the dolomite beach to the public again on June 12. This is the good legacy of the Duterte administration. That’s why we really aim to open it before President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s term ends,” he said.
The agency reset the beach’s reopening from May to June since several infrastructure works have yet to be finished in the area.
Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and International Affairs Jonas Leones said the 500-meter beach nourishment project, which started in 2020, withstood rains, typhoons and floods.
“This proves that the dolomite beach, thanks to the assistance of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the other agencies, is stable and will prevail,” he said.
The opening of the dolomite beach beside the United States Embassy in Manila would be held in conjunction with the unveiling of the World War II Heritage Cannon in the Remedios area “to encourage patriotism among the public and to signify that the battle to cleanup Manila Bay is not yet over,” he noted.
The Heritage Cannon is one of the original World War II cannons from Fort Drum Island situated at the mouth of Manila Bay.
Even after the Duterte administration, the dolomite beach would still be a part of the rehabilitation approach in cleaning Manila Bay in accordance with the writ of continuing mandamus issued by the Supreme Court in 2008, Leones said.
According to Jacob Meimban, Manila Bay Coordinating Office executive director, the beach reopening is only for visitation, walking and sunset viewing, and not yet for swimming as water quality is still not within the 100 most probable number per 100 milliliters standard fecal coliform level.
The DENR can only allow 1,500 to 3,500 persons at a given time inside the 500-meter span of the dolomite beach to ensure that the minimum health protocols are strictly followed.