QC gov't designates child-friendly safe zones for minors

QC gov't designates child-friendly safe zones for minors
Children enjoy playing at the Bernardo Park in Quezon City on July 10, 2021. Kids five years old and above are now allowed outdoors in areas under general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine after the Inter-Agency Task Force approved the proposal.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City local government has designated 19 open-air locations in the city as ‘Child Friendly Safe Zones’ where minors five years old and above can engage in outdoor activities, non-contact sports and exercise.

In a press release sent to reporters Sunday afternoon, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte disclosed that she signed a memorandum identifying Quezon Memorial Circle and Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife among parks classified as child-friendly safe zones.

Several city-owned parks managed by the Quezon City Parks Development and Administration Department, including some parks inside residential subdivisions, were also included in the memo.

Minors five years old and above may enter the safe zones for non-contact activities such as outdoor playtime, games, sports, exercise, outdoor swimming or other leisure activities, and for al fresco dining, provided they are accompanied by a fully-vaccinated adult guardian.

“After months of being confined inside their houses, we saw the need to give minors a chance to go out and get some fresh air in outdoor areas that are deemed safe,” said Belmonte.

READ: Eased curbs for children, elderly not for complacency vs COVID-19 — DOT

'Other areas may be designated'

Under the guidelines, a “fully vaccinated” adult is one that has completed the prescribed number of COVID-19 vaccine doses at least two weeks prior, as shown by a duly-issued vaccination card and any Government-issued ID. 

“The adult guardian should be able to present the vaccination card and ID at any time upon request,” Belmonte said, adding that groups that converge within the safe zones may not exceed 10 persons. 

Belmonte added that the Quezon City Business Permits Licensing Department could also designate Safe Zones, including outdoor activity areas, swimming pools, tourist sites, al fresco dining or other open air areas in malls or other commercial establishments. Representatives of other parks and outdoor areas may apply with the city to be declared as safe zones. 

Once designated, a zone administrator will be assigned to determine the reasonable capacity limitation for each zone, and enforce health protocols within the zone, such as use of face masks, maintaining physical distancing, regular disinfection of high-touch objects, and the use of contact tracing systems as feasible.

“The Zone Administrator is also encouraged to implement an hourly scheduling system, or the like, to ensure compliance with capacity limits. The Zone Administrator should employ marshals to patrol the zone and remind visitors of health protocols whenever necessary,” Belmonte said.

READ: Task force: Kids aged 5 and up can go out in GCQ, MGCQ areas

This comes after UNICEF Philippines’ call to local governments to allow children to play and conduct sports and exercise in outdoor areas, to promote their physical and mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government's coronavirus task force recently eased curbs on the movement of minors above the age of 5 and senior citizens in areas under general community quarantine and modified GCQ. 

To date, health authorities have tallied 1.46 million coronavirus infections in the country, 49,968 of whom are still classified as active cases. 



Disclosure: Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Philstar.com. This article was produced following editorial guidelines.


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