Cebu City bans minors from malls
Mayor Edgardo Labella

Cebu City bans minors from malls

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - December 4, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Minors below 15 years old in Cebu City will not be allowed inside malls during the Christmas holiday even with their parents with them, Mayor Edgardo Labella said, citing recommendation from the City Health Department.

Aside from the health risk involved, Labella said allowing under 15-year-olds to do malling also needs an ordinance from the LGU and there is no such ordinance at hand in Cebu City.

“We will not allow minors below 15 kay risky kaayo. In the first place, there is no such ordinance. According to (DILG Secretary) Año, an ordinance has to be enacted,” said Labella in an interview.

The Emergency Operations Center’s (EOC) daily monitoring showed that some transmissions of the coronavirus were linked to malls. For the month of November alone, there were at least six cases attributed to malls as the possible source of infection.

Danao, too

In Danao City, the city government will also not allow 15 years olds and below to go to malls citing that the previously issued executive orders in the city laying down the MGCQ guidelines have not changed.

“As of posting kay wala pay Provincial/City Executive Order o City Ordinance nga nagtugot sa pagsulod sa mga menor de edad sa malls o ang paggawas sa panimalay,” the city government said in a Facebook page last December 3.

“Nagpabilin nga 15-65 years old ra ang allowed nga mogawas for essential needs,” it added, citing the Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 79.

The LGU said the public misinterpreted the earlier pronouncement of Interior Secretary Año regarding minors being allowed to go to malls.

“Apan giklaro sa maong DILG directiive nga manginhanglan pa og lig-on nga balaod, sama sa ordinansa aron mapatuman kini tagsa-tagsa nga lokalidad,” the post read.

Discretionary

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, in yesterday’s presser, said allowing minors to go malling this Christmas will be at the discretion of local government units.

This was in reaction to Metro Manila mayors’ decision to continue to bar minors from going to the malls during the holiday season.

Roque said the same rule goes to areas under modified general community quarantine like Central Visayas.

“Sa mga MGCQ tulad ng Palawan (since he was in Palawan during the press briefing), tourism is allowed for the whole family and nakadepende na rin po sa LGUs following the guidelines of DOH, DILG and DOT,” he said.

On DILG’s part, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, in a press statement, clarified that there is no final decision yet on allowing minors to visit malls amid the COVID pandemic in the National Capital Region and in the rest of the country.

Since no final decision has been adopted yet, the old regulations remain -- minors are required to stay at home.

The DILG chief said that it is better if the number of people going outside is controlled or limited in the face of the ongoing pandemic although COVID cases in NCR and in urban areas in the country have been going down.

“As much as possible, we should limit the number of people going out, especially the elderly and minors; but we will listen to the Metro Manila Mayors and the health experts on what their recommendation will be,” Año said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque, in a report on One News, also opposed moves to allow children to go out, saying this will put them at risk of contracting COVID-19.

Duque cautioned that three to five percent of the total COVID-19 cases in the country are children, thus, they are not exempted from getting the virus.

Children, he said, may even be “super-spreaders,” too, as mentioned during the virtual presser of the Philippines Pediatric Society and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines. This as children may not manifest symptoms but can still spread the virus to adults. — Mary Ruth R. Malinao, Le Phyllis F. Antojado, JMD (FREEMAN)

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