MAYORS in Metro Manila have agreed to seek the opinion of public health experts before enacting local laws allowing children to go to the malls.
San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said they reached this agreement during the virtual meeting of the Metro Manila Council Tuesday night, December 1, 2020.
"Sa pagpupulong po ng Metro Manila Council ngayong gabi sa issue ng kung papayagang lumabas ang mga minors ng kanilang tahanan, nagkasundo po kaming mga Metro Manila mayors na hihintayin muna namin ang opinyon ng mga medical experts bago kami gumawa ng aming desisyon o rekomendasyon,” he said.
“Importante po na may medical basis ang aming magiging desisyon o rekomendasyon sapagkat kaligtasan ng ating mga mamamayan po ang nakasalalay dito. Magpupulong po kami sa lalong madaling panahon kapag may opinyon na po ang mga nasabing doktor," he added.
The council is composed of the mayors of 16 highly urbanized cities and one municipality that form Metro Manila, or the National Capital Region (NCR).
Under Resolution No. 79 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, only those 15 to 65 years old are allowed to step out of their homes. Those under 15 and over 65 are still mandated to stay at home as a precautionary measure against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, however, said during the weekly briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday that local government units (LGUs) may enact ordinances allowing the children to go out and go to the malls, provided they are accompanied by their parents, in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).
“Para na rin po sa kapaskuhan ay doon po sa pinag-utos natin na puwede ng gradual expansion ng mga age group para makalabas, ang mga minors po basta accompanied ng mga magulang ay papayagang makalabas at makapunta sa mall. Ito po ay pagtitibayin sa mga ordinansa ng ating mga NCR mayors sa lugar po ng GCQ,” Año reported to Duterte.
(In the spirit of Christmas, we gave instructions that the age group allowed outside their homes may be gradually expanded. Minors may be allowed to go out and go to the malls as long as they are accompanied by their parents. Local ordinances need to be enacted in NCR and other areas under GCQ.)
He said Metro Manila mayors are now coordinating with the Philippine Pediatric Society.
"Noong Sunday nga lumabas 'yung proposal nila. Ang sabi natin, gawin ninyo ang inyong resolution at ordinansa kasi ang mga LGU talaga ang mayroong responsibilidad diyan. Sa ngayon nagsasagawa pa sila ng pulong dahil hati kasi ang mayors ng Metro Manila at kailangan isa lang ang stand nila," Año said.
(There was a proposal to allow children in malls last Sunday. We told them that they should pass a resolution and ordinance because LGUs have the authority on these matters. As of now, they are still discussing this. Metro Manila mayors have to come up with one stand.)
"Ang update natin makikipag-meeting pa sila sa Philippine Pediatric Society para magkaroon sila ng discussion. Based doon sa kanilang consensus, ang sabi nila hindi pa sila handa dahil Christmas, puwede 'yang 'di matuloy. At kung sabihin naman nila na pupuwede ganitong edad, papayagan natin, accompanied by guardians or parents, we can adopt it," he added. (SunStar Philippines)