Photo from DENR.


The curious flock of tourists in Manila Baywalk to see the newly-installed crushed dolomite sand in the beach should have been barred by the police commander for Ermita, according to Joint Task Force COVID Shield on Sunday.

The joint task force, which handles the enforcement of quarantine protocols, released the statement after Police Lt. Col. Ariel Caramoan was sacked as commander of Manila Police District Police Station 5 due to quarantine violations.

“Caramoan could have prevented the quarantine protocol violations at the Manila Bay if there was prior planning and regular monitoring of the situation in the area,” JTF COVID Shield said.

“Clearly, he also failed to comply with the JTF COVID Shield order that was coordinated with [Police Gen. Camilo Cascolan, Philippine National Police chief] for all police commanders to monitor and immediately take action on violations of the quarantine protocols that are going viral in the social media,” the task force also said. 

Since it was opened to the public on Saturday, people had been visiting the portion of the Manila Baywalk where the crushed dolomite was installed. 

Only 70 people were allowed on the beach and for only three minutes, but outside the beach area, photos have circulated on social media showing crowded people on the street, not practicing social distancing measures. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has guaranteed to the public that the dolomite sand won’t create any threat to the public or to the marine environment in Manila Bay.

JTF COVID Shield has advised the public who plan to go and see the Manila Baywalk to strictly practice discipline and to mind their own safety as the country continues the battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. RJ Espartinez