OCTA Research rejects move to allow kids in malls


Posted at Jan 18 2021 12:00 PM | Updated as of Jan 18 2021 01:16 PM

People have their pictures taken with the cargo vessel that ran aground on the seawall of SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City on November 21, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A group of independent researchers opposed Monday a proposal to allow children aged 10 and above outside their homes in a bid to revive the economy.

The trade department last week said it supports the proposal of Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua to let more children and families out of their homes so that commercial establishments like malls would have more customers. 

Children, however, will not contribute much to the economy as they are "not breadwinners," said OCTA Research Group fellow Guido David.

Face-to-face classes also remain prohibited due to the threat of the pandemic, David added.

"I mean hindi natin pinapayagan 'yung school pero papayagan natin sila magpunta ng mall? Parang di lang consistent 'yung messaging na pwede silang pagala-gala pero di sila nag-aaral. Kung ganun lang e di ibalik natin ang school. Mas importante yun," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(We don't even allow school but we will allow them to go to malls? The messaging of allowing them to roam but not go to school is not consistent. If that's the case, then let's bring back schools, it's more important.)

Children below 16 years old are also ineligible for COVID-19 vaccines as they have yet to be included in clinical trials, David said.

"'Yung vaccine designed siya for 16 and above kaya wag natin hayaan na lumabas-labas ang mga batang ito. Kahit may vaccine na di natin sila mababakunahan," he said.

(The vaccine is designed for 16 and above so let's not let these children go outside. Even if there's a vaccine already, we can't inoculate them.)

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