In a virtual briefing, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Arturo Jojo Garcia bared Thursday that the Metro Manila Council (MMC) unanimously voted to bar minors in NCR from going outdoors, most especially in malls.
Taking into consideration the recommendation of the Philippine Pediatric Society and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines, MMC, composed of 17 mayors in Metro Manila, and some national government officials unanimously retained the restriction for 17 years old and below from going outdoors.
Noting that the danger lies with minors becoming asymptomatic carriers of the virus due to their strong immune systems, Garcia, citing pediatric experts, said: “At the end of the day, nung nakita nila opinyon ng expert, talagang nire-respeto natin ‘yan. Kahit na ‘yung mga dating may gusto, bumoto na rin ng ‘no.’ Inisip nila ‘yung health ng ating mga minors,”
“So, unanimous po, 17-0 mayors will not allow minors to go out. That’s why ‘yung ating general community quarantine (GCQ) guidelines na 18 to 65, ‘yun pa rin ang papayagan lumabas. Of course, for essentials, pwede naman,” Garcia added.
Garcia further reiterated that essential activities include entering malls and other business establishments for health checkups and buying groceries and medicine.
Moreover, Garcia stressed that based on the decision of their respective local government units (LGUs), jogging, biking, and other non-contact physical activities for minors and senior citizens might also be allowed.
The MMDA official reminded everyone to follow health protocols such as wearing masks and face shields and observing physical distancing.
He also reminded businesses, other outdoor establishments, and the local government units (LGUs) to strictly enforce MMC’s policy and COVID-19-related protocols.
Failure to comply with the policy would mean a penalty for the violator, and the weight of the penalty would depend on their respective LGUs, he added.