No house arrest: Gov't says senior citizens can leave their homes during general quarantine

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 30 2020 12:00 PM

A local resident of a depressed community in Barangay Paligsahan, Quezon City receives relief goods from barangay officers on March 19, 2020. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The government will not place elderly Filipinos under house arrest in areas that will shift to a "new normal" on Friday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Thursday.

Lopez, in a message read by Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, said senior citizens may be allowed to leave their homes in areas that will shift to a general community quarantine.

"IATF is not insisting that seniors are under house arrest or will be house arrest," Lopez said, referring to the government's inter-agency task force which formulates policies on the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is just an overall policy presented to us due to vulnerability of the age segment especially during the quarantine period," he added.

The government's pandemic task force earlier recommended that those aged 0 to 21, and those 60 years old and above should stay home even as parts of the country shift to a general community quarantine from an enhanced community quarantine.

Lopez said the elderly who are actively working or running businesses can leave their homes. Authorities will use an "ID system," he said.

Other senior citizens who need to buy food, supplies, medicine, and ask government assistance can also go out of their houses, the trade chief added.

Several areas will shift to a "new normal" starting Friday as the government eases lockdown measures even as the coronavirus crisis persists.