Metro mayors to decide on age restrictions


The Metro Manila Council (MMC) will set the age restrictions for those who will be allowed to go out of their homes but will first consult health experts on the matter, the chairman of the council said on Saturday.


Based on the latest policy pronouncement of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), starting February 1, people aged 10 years to 65 years in areas under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) can leave their homes for non-essential activities, such as going to malls.


In a radio interview, Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, also the chairman of MMC, said the 17 mayors of Metro Manila who compose the MMC will consult experts for recommendations on the relaxed rules for people who could be allowed to go out of their homes.


He added that cities under the general community quarantine (GCQ), local officials will be allowed to decide on the age restrictions. Metro Manila mayors will meet on Monday and on Tuesday, they will consult health experts on the age restriction issue.


“We will invite experts from the DOH [Department of Health] to give their recommendation regarding the issue on children,” he said in Filipino.


With all cities in Metro Manila under GCQ, children aged below 18 years old are not allowed to enter into malls while minors are barred from leaving their homes for leisure purposes.


This early, however, the DOH is opposed to easing age restrictions for people who can leave their homes amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a Laging Handa briefing on Saturday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said three out of the 16 new cases of the B.1.1.7 SARS-Cov-2 (United Kingdom) variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) reported in the country on Friday night were aged 18 and below.

“With the new variant detected in the country, we are thinking of recommending to maybe suspend the easing of age requirement that will allow children to go out), so that we can prevent more infections,” Vergeire said in Filipino.

However, she added that they will still heed the decision of the IATF-EID on the matter.


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