(Eagle News) — The Manila Bay Beach has social media buzzing as both locals and tourists have visited the white sand strip in the Philippine capital’s famous bay known for its dazzling sunsets.
Locals and tourists flocked to the white sand beach of Manila Bay in its brief weekend public opening. It has since been the subject of vloggers as they raved about the new attraction in Manila.
The Manila Bay beach area was closed after opening it to the public last weekend, Sept. 19, to complete work on the rest of the beach set to be covered with crushed dolomite rocks.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, in a department release, said the “throng of people at Manila Bay last weekend to get a glimpse of the white sand beach was a strong indication that the project enjoyed overwhelming public support”
But he said he was saddened with “the failure of the crowd to observe proper physical distancing with their eagerness to see the white sand beach.”
“We are saddened by the overcrowding of people along Manila Bay, without observance of physical distancing. But somehow, we felt vindicated from the accusations and negative claims that the Manila Bay rehabilitation is artificial and harmful to human health and the environment,” Cimatu said.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that the Manila Bay rehabilitation program dates back in 2008 when the Supreme Court issued a writ of continuing mandamus directing the DENR and other agencies to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve the bay.
“In more than a decade since the writ was issued, it was only under the Duterte administration that the government finally set in motion an honest-to-goodness undertaking to bring Manila Bay back to its former glory,” a DENR release said.
Cimatu also shared all the praise and recognition the DENR for the Manila Bay beach nourishment project to the other mandamus agencies.
“Di pa tapos ang rehabilitasyon ng Manila Bay, ngunit ngayon pa lang nagpapasalamat na ako sa lahat ng hirap at tulong na binibigay ng mga mandamus agencies, kung wala ang tulong ninyo, wala kaming magagawa sa DENR,” Cimatu stressed.
The DENR said that Manila Bay is only on its second phase of rehabilitation. The third phase, according to Cimatu, is the hardest since this involves changing the attitude and behavior of the people towards the environment.
“This phase, if becomes successful, would sustain all the efforts that have been done to bring Manila Bay back to its former pristine condition,” the DENR said.
The brief public opening of the Manila Bay Beach was done on Sept. 19 to mark the International Coastal Cleanup Day celebration.
(Eagle News Service)