THE Metro Manila Council is creating a unified protocol for allowing children to go outdoors, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos said on Monday, July 12, 2021.
Abalos said the primary consideration of the Metro Manila mayors is to ensure the safety of the children while outdoors and to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
"Kung nakita na nating medyo maraming tao iwasan na natin, ito ay para sa mga anak natin at para sa atin din.'Wag na ho tayo sumiksik sa lugar na ‘yun," he said in a radio interview.
"Lalagyan pa namin ng karagdagang regulasyon. Dapat siguro accompanied sila by adults, 'di puwedeng sila-sila lang," he added.
He said social distancing should strictly be observed.
Abalos said they will also come up with a list of open areas like parks, playgrounds and outdoor tourist spots, where children, along with their parents, can go.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Guillermo Eleazar urged parents to remain cautious in bringing their children outdoors reminding them that kids remain off-limits inside malls and other enclosed establishments.
Eleazar said parents should not let their guards down as the Covid-19 pandemic persists and more contagious variants of the virus are circulating.
“Paalala lang natin sa mga magulang na hindi lahat ng lugar ay pupuwede na ang mga bata. Maaari lang silang pumunta sa mga parks, playgrounds, mga outdoor tourism areas at biking and hiking trails basta’t kasama ang kanilang mga magulang,” he said.
“Kasama sa paglabas ng alituntuning ito galing sa IATF ay ang mabigat na responsibilidad sa mga magulang na protektahan ang kanilang mga menor de edad na anak laban sa Covid-19,” he added.
He said parents or guardians should also be responsible in ensuring that children comply with minimum health protocols such as the wearing of face masks and the observance of social distancing.
“Kung may mga paglabag sa mga panuntuhan ay ang mga magulang ang siyang mananagot,” he said.
On July 8, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved a resolution allowing children five years old and above to go outdoors in areas under general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine.
This does not cover areas under GCQ "with heightened restrictions,” such as Laguna and Cavite.
The IATF said mixed use indoor/outdoor buildings and facilities such as malls and similar establishments are also off-limits for children.
Eleazar reminded policemen to strictly enforce the latest policy but to be extra careful with their words and actuations against violators, especially those with kids. (SunStar Philippines)