MANILA - The Manila Bay Coordinating Office on Friday said it is ready to accommodate more people visiting the Dolomite Beach on Roxas Boulevard since it reopened to the public.
Deputy Executive Dir. Jacob Meimban Jr. said they initially projected a thousand visitors to visit the beach per day which the 8,000 plus square meters area can accommodate.
“Ngayon, dahil dumagsa ang tao, ang ginawa namin in-extend pa namin yung lugar, from 140 meters in-extend namin siya hanggang sa 200 meters. I-extend namin siya kung may kailangan. Pag itong darating na Sabado, Linggo, pag talagang dumami ulit yung tao, meron kaming provisions d'yan na i-extend namin ng hanggang 300 meters. By that time, yung area aabot na siya ng 12,000 square meters o 1.2 hectares which we project kaya naman in any given time yung 5,000 na tao,” Meimban said.
(With more people flocking to the area, we will extend it from 140 meters to 200 meters. We will extend it as needed. If we see surge of visitors this coming weekend, we have provisions to extend the area up to 300 meters. By that time, the area will reach 12,000 square meters or 1.2 hectares, which we project can accommodate 5,000 people at any given time.)
More people are flocking to the beach covered with artificial sand as Metro Manila shifted to Alert Level 3.
Meimban said the beach is meant for the people of Metro Manila who have experienced several lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sa experience namin for the past 5 days, moving ang tao, revolving. They come and go hindi yung nag-stay sila ng halimbawa 3 oras. Ang maximum d'yan 1 to 2 hours. Ang talagang pinakamatagal lang na nagstay sila ito yung 5 o’ clock hanggang 6 o clock,” he said.
(Based from our experience the last 5 days, people come and go, they do not stay in the area for long. The maximum there is about 1 to 2 hours. The peak would be around 5 to 6 o’clock.)
He added that they recorded 21,000 people who visited the Dolomite Beach last Monday, but around 5,000 to 7,000 remained from 5 to 6 o’clock.
“Ang ginagawa namin mas maganda na nasa loob sila ng Dolomite Beach kaysa nasa labas sila. Kasi doon sa labas mas masikip doon. Nagkakaroon ng congestion, samantalang sa loob ng Dolomite Beach may elbow room sila. Nakakagalaw sila kahit ganun karaming tao,” Meimban said.
(It’s better if they are inside the Dolomite Beach. Its more congested outside while there’s elbow room, they can move around while inside the beach.)
Authorities fear that the reopened beach could become a superspreader event as the threat of COVID-19 is still there.
“Ginagawa natin ang lahat ng paraan para sundin yung minimum health standards. Kahapon, dinagdagan natin yung bilang ng ating mga kapulisan at saka aming mga marshalls. Iniikot namin lagi yan, pinapaalalahanan ang ating mga bisita na dapat sa lahat ng oras ang kanilang face mask ay nakalagay sa kanilang mukha, bata man o matanda, at yung social distancing laging pinapakiusapan natin,” Meimban said.
(We’re doing everything we can to observe the minimum health standards. Yesterday, we increased our police and marshalls going around the area reminding people to always wear their face masks and observe social distancing.)
Visitors who violate health protocols despite warnings are asked to leave the area, he said.