Manila City gov't says open to using Manila Bay dolomite beach as vaccination site

Manila City gov't says open to using Manila Bay dolomite beach as vaccination site
Members of the Manila Police District (MPD) arrive early to provide security at the Manila Bay Dolomite Beach on Tuesday (December 28, 2021) before dawn as it opens to the public for a two-day trial. The DENR sets an online appointment system for visitors wanting to experience the man-made beach front to avoid overcrowding and in observance of the minimum health and safety protocols by the IATF.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, File photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila City government is open to the possibility of using the controversial Manila Bay Walk Dolomite Beach along Roxas Boulevard as another vaccination site to provide booster shots, it disclosed Thursday. 

In a statement, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said that construction in the area should be finished to assure the safety of people before the dolomite beach can be used as a vaccination site. 

“If it's feasible, why not? That’s a very good idea, but is the construction finished, and will people be safe? That's always our concern,” Moreno told reporters in Filipino during the opening of the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden as the latest vaccination site for minors and senior citizens. 

The Manila Bay Walk Dolomite Beach is an artificial beach along Roxas Boulevard in Manila and a project by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. 

The dolomite beach was first opened to the public in September 2020.

After it was closed again for expansion, the beach was reopened to the public in July 2021 and then again in October after quarantine restrictions subsided.

Moreno has opened three drive-thru booster shot facilities for 4-wheel vehicles at the Quirino Grandstand, motorcycles and bicycles at the Kartilya ng Katipunan, and for drivers of public utility vehicles and delivery vans at the Bagong Ospital ng Maynila.

These are in addition to the continuing vaccinations in community health centers and designated public schools and shopping malls. This also comes after the opening of the newly-redeveloped Manila Zoo as a vaccination center for minors and seniors.  

Moreno hits anti-vaxxers, urges better access to vaccines

The Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer also reiterated his call for the people to get their booster shots as soon as possible, saying Manila City’s various vaccination facilities are available to everyone.  

Moreno said that while unvaccinated workers are exempted from the “no vaccination, no ride” policy, workers should not confuse the exemption as an excuse not to get vaccinated at all. 

“We will try to understand the people, reach the people as much as we can. But at the end of the day, you have to decide on your own because you have to be responsible to others. As a citizen, you also have a responsibility to your community, to your country. It is not just the government that is responsible to the people,” Moreno said on Wednesday.

“Man has a responsibility to his fellow man, to himself, to his family. We are under attack, people are dying, getting sick because of this dreadful disease called coronavirus. So science needs the approach, because the only thing that can help us, is science. Vaccination is the only solution."

He said all those who are still unvaccinated, including workers, can avail of these facilities to get protected from COVID-19. 

“Our people in the city have choices. They can choose where is convenient for them. The remaining unvaccinated ones, and maybe, some of our workers, because they don’t live in Manila, they go in and out of Manila, so we wanted to protect them. We wanted to protect ourselves while protecting them. So, it works both ways,” Moreno explained. 

"While I respect some individuals' opinion about vaccination, I'm calling on people to get vaccinated. Vaccination is added protection for all of us. Marites can't do anything about COVID-19, but vaccines are proven by science," he also said. 

Moreno pointed out that providing more access to vaccination facilities in the most convenient way to the people has resulted in more people getting vaccinated, with 23,676 persons being vaccinated on January 17 with either their first dose, second dose or booster shots in Manila. 

He also noted that of the more than 15,000 individuals who received their booster shots at the Luneta and Kartilya ng Katipunan drive-thru facilities, 60% were non-Manilans.

“People really want to get vaccinated. All they need is convenience and access,” he said. 



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