Manila Mayor and now presidential aspirant Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso urged the country’s pandemic task force to file charges against the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for opening the dolomite beach without informing the Manila City government.
In an interview with ANC, Domagoso did not mince words against DENR, who he alleged did not coordinate with the local government of Manila and pursued the opening of the controversial artificial beach.
“I’m challenging agencies of government under IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) to file charges in violation to their fellow members in the national government,” he said.
“The irony is that they are the ones who are supposed to enforce the law) but they are also the ones who are violating it,” he added.
The statement came after thousands of people flocked at the Manila Bay Dolomite beach over the weekend, which he described as a “super-spreader event.”
“Charge those people in DENR for violating our rules. If they cannot implement it within their offices, then there is no point implementing it to the public,” he said.
Domogaso pointed out that the DENR is in control of the area because of its continuous efforts in developing the area.
“In fact, they have a gate before you can enter the dolomite beach. But due diligence must be observed especially in this situation wherein it can be a super spreader,” he said.
He was referring to the Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO), an agency under the direct supervision of the DENR secretary, which has coordinative functions among all offices and agencies involved in the rehabilitation, restoration and conservation of Manila Bay.
According to the mayor, since the MBCO has reopened the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach, thousands of people have flocked the area, from an estimated 8,000 on reopening day, to around 65,000 last Sunday, including children below 12 years of age.
Meanwhile, the DENR said it will coordinate with Domogoso regarding his call on the national government to file charges against the agency’s officials for alleged violations of health protocols by reopening the dolomite beach.