Palace says local governments to issue ordinances on allowing minors to go out
In this Nov. 25, 2020 photo, the dancing musical fountain near the newly lit 40-foot Christmas tree in front of the Manila City Hall brings yuletide cheers to families and other passersby.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

Palace says local governments to issue ordinances on allowing minors to go out

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - December 1, 2020 - 6:47pm

MANILA, Philippines — Minors may soon be allowed to go to malls with their parents as the government continues to reopen the economy while trying to prevent a surge of COVID-19 infections during the holidays. 

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Metro Manila mayors are expected to come up with a policy that would ease the age-based restriction on movement. Details of the relaxed stay-at-home policy, including the age of minors who will be allowed to go out, will be included in the guidelines to be crafted. 

"That will be done by the Metro Manila Council and the local governments. Once it is released by the Metro Manila Council, that will be applicable to the entire Metropolitan Manila Area," Roque said at a press briefing. 

"This will be subject to the guidelines to be crafted by the Metro Manila Council and the different local governments. So we will make sure that the children will not be super spreaders (of the virus) so one of the basic requirements is they should be accompanied by their parents," he added. 

Roque said the easing of age-based restriction is in line with the effort to revive the economy. 

"Many have lost jobs because of the pandemic. While we are waiting for the vaccine, we need to live with the virus so we need to take care of ourselves so we can work," the Palace spokesman said. 

"It’s really to invite families to visit the malls again... Many of our countrymen are not going out and it has gotten to the point that we’re now worse off," he added. 

During a meeting of the government's pandemic task force last Monday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the easing of age-based restrictions would be formalized by ordinances to be issued by mayors 

"For Christmas, we have ordered the gradual expansion of the age group who will be allowed to go out. Minors may go out if accompanied by their parents and they can go to the malls. It will be contained in the ordinances of NCR (National Capital Region) mayors," he said. 

Metro Manila, Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Lanao del Sur, Iligan, Davao City, and Davao del Norte will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) in December while the rest of the country will be under the most lenient modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). The capital region, which contributes more than a third of the Philippines' economic output, is the site of nearly half of the Philippines' more than 432,000 COVID-189 infections. It has been under GCQ since June. 

Año called on the public to just spend Christmas with their immediate families. He said family reunions can be considered "mass gatherings." He also reminded them to continue observing health standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Roque said only up to 10 people can join gatherings in GCQ areas while up to half of a venue can be filled up in places that are under MGCQ. He also backed proposals for restaurants to set-up outdoor tables. 

"It's safer outdoors. It has the feels of Paris," he said. 

GENERAL COMMUNITY QUARANTINE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 22, 2021 - 12:01pm

Follow this thread for updates on COVID-19 risk levels, safety measures, and data from Metro Manila's local government units.

Photo: The STAR/Michael Varcas

January 22, 2021 - 12:01pm

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, who has been cleared of criminal liability for a quarantine breach last year, was given special treatment by the Department of Health and Department of Justice, Akbayan Youth says in a statement.

The group says the junking of the complaint against Pimentel came as government officials were questioning the supposed special treatment of the University of the Philippines and Polytechnic University of the Philippines for requiring coordination with school authorities for military and police operations in their campuses.

"Nakakahiya (How shameful). What makes the likes of Sen. Koko and Duterte's other minions so special that they are free to abuse their positions and not required to obey our laws? 

"We expected more from our leaders to follow the rules, and even more to implement them fairly," the group says.

January 13, 2021 - 9:38pm

The Quezon City government says it is closely monitoring the case of a resident who trested positive for the new COVID-19 variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom.

City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit says they are doing everything they can to trace and isolate, following the arrival of the patient from Dubai last January 7.

“We have to remain cautious and  vigilant to avert the spread of this new variant. What is important is we take care of the resident, and make sure we don’t sow panic in the community,” Mayor Joy Belmonte says.

January 12, 2021 - 4:27pm

Manila prohibits street parties, stage shows, parades, palarong kalye and other similar activities that will draw crowd in the community in Pandacan and Tondo areas for the nnual Feast Day of Sto. Nino on January 16 to 17.

In Executive Order 2, Mayor Isko Moreno says such activities during fiesta regulation, if not regulated, can be an easy medium of COVID-19 spread and transmission.

Selling of liquor and other alcoholic beverages within Pandacan and Tondo will also be banned on the same dates.

January 11, 2021 - 7:49am

Pasig City has ordered 400,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, Mayor Vico Sotto announces.

He adds, though, that "actual quantity and date of delivery will depend on several factors."

"We'll buy from others too as opportunities arise," he also says.

January 5, 2021 - 3:30pm

The government of Quezon City is finalizing discussions for purchasing an initial batch of 750,000 does of COVID-19 vaccines.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte says the procurement will be through a tripartite agreement between the national government, local government unit and the pharmaceutical company.

"The LGU is not authorized to procure... The pharmaceutical company allocates what it can to LGUs that signify intent, with the national government procuring in behalf of the LGU," Belmonte says. —  The STAR/Janvic Mateo

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