Vice presidential aspirant Walden Bello on Thursday denounced the government's failure to regulate the people coming in at the Manila Baywalk dolomite beach amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Bello slammed the project, saying it is a waste of money that only destroys the environment.
"Maling-mali na magwaldas ng milyon-milyong piso mula sa kaban ng bayan para sa isang beach na nakakasira ng kalikasan habang napakaraming kababayan natin ang nagugutom at nahihirapan ngayong pandemya," he said.
Bello then pointed out the need to create more public parks and green spaces.
"Kulang na kulang ang mga lugar kung saan maaaring mamasyal ang mga manggagawa at mga ordinaryong tao kasama ang kanilang mga kapamilya o kaibigan," he said.
He added the public have no other choice but to go to malls for recreation but they can only do window shopping as they cannot afford to buy the items sold there.
"Kaya naman napipilitan silang magpunta na lamang sa mga mall—kung saan hindi rin naman nila kayang mamili dahil sa liit ng mga sweldo nila. O di kaya’y napipilitang maligo sa maruming tubig ng Manila Bay para lang magpalamig o magpalipas oras," he added.
The dolomite beach was reopened to the public on October 16, the same day the alert level status in Metro Manila was downgraded from Level 4 to Level 3 amid a downtrend in new COVID-19 cases.
Since then, droves of people have visited the controversial artificial beach.
The Inter-Agency Task Force said it will discuss the possibility of filing charges against Environment officials due to the overcrowding at the beach.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu already relieved Manila Bay Coordinating Office deputy executive director Jacob Meimban Jr. from his post as ground commander due to the overcrowding incident.—Ma. Angelica Garcia/AOL, GMA News