MANILA – Police will send home minors who will be caught loitering in public places unsupervised by their guardians, Metro Manila’s police chief said Wednesday, as the government implemented a week-long class suspension to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Authorities will also implement curfew hours for minors at night, according to National Capital Region Police Office chief Police Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas.
“We agreed upon that in places of convergence, minors, or those below 18 years old, who are unsupervised will be cautioned by the police officers to go back home,” Sinas said in a statement.
Police said minors should refrain from going to places where people would usually gather in tight spaces, including internet cafes, public markets, and malls.
Malacañang earlier urged malls to deny students entry amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
“In the first place, classes are suspended for them to stay at home and not to hangout or meet with their friends,” said Sinas, who urged parents to keep an eye on their children.
The curfew hours will depend on the policy of respective local government units (LGUs), according to NCRPO Spokesperson Maj. Britz Estadilla.
“The police will follow the curfew of the LGUs,” Estadilla told ABS-CBN News.
Sinas also placed the entire police force of the capital region on heightened alert status, “with the mindset of utilizing our resources in NCRPO to help ensure the prevention of the virus’ transmission and immediate response to any incident that may transpire in Metro Manila.”
On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila from March 10 to 14 as a measure against the possible spread of the coronavirus disease.
The Philippines has a total of 33 cases of COVID-19, with the most recent 30 confirmed since March 6.
Report from Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News