MANILA (UPDATE) - Metro Manila mayors will release "very soon" a resolution clarifying the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force Against COVID-19 on allowing children outside their homes, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said Sunday.
Children aged 17 and below are allowed to go outside to buy food and medicine, visit a doctor or a dentist, and exercise or avail of interzonal and intrazonal travel, Zamora said, citing the IATF resolution.
"Pangalawa, kung sila po ay nagtatrabaho (If they are employed), meaning if there's any employment status that allows their age," he added.
"Para mas maging malinaw, maglalabas ng pormal na resolution ang MMC (Metro Manila Council) very soon because last time, nagkaroon na nga ho ng kasunduan," Zamora told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
Children will remain prohibited in malls, the mayor added.
"So, saan pwede ang ating mga kabataan? Pwede sila sa outdoor areas, pwede mag-exercise. Kung sakaling kailangang bumili ng pagkain o gamot, pwede," he said.
(Where are children allowed? They are allowed in outdoor areas, they can exercise. If they need to buy food and medicine, they can do so.)
"Pero hindi pwedeng mag dine-in sila because that will already require them to remove their mask and eat among a group of people in a restaurant. So tumataas bigla ang risk rito. Hindi namin muna pinayagan at iyan ay napagkasunduan ng Metro Manila Council."
(But they can't dine in because that will already require them to remove their mask and eat among a group of people in a restaurant. This increases risk of infection. We didn't allow that just yet and the Metro Manila Council agreed on this.)
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos said he might hold a press briefing on Monday about the resolution and the mobility of children.
Local governments only have a say in the interzonal and intrazonal travel of children, he said, citing the IATF resolution.
The government previously barred children from leaving their homes as some experts said they might become "superspreaders."
It has since allowed limited in-person classes and began the COVID-19 vaccination of children with comorbidities.
Metro Manila, home to around 13.5 million people, is under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 until the end of the month, where granular lockdowns are being implemented to curb the spread of the disease and gradually revive business activities.
The Philippines has recorded a total of 2,713,509 COVID-19 cases as of Saturday, of which 85,048 remain active, according to the health department.
Nearly 24 million people in the country have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while some 27.5 million others have received their first does, as of Thursday. The government aims to fully vaccinate more than 77 million to achieve herd immunity against the disease.
- with reports from Gillan Ropero and Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News