MANILA - The Metro Manila Council will be meeting Thursday evening to discuss President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to local government units to pass ordinances for age restriction among minors who can be allowed inside malls.
In an interview on TeleRadyo, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said LGUs in the capital region should have a unified stand on the issue.
“Dapat unified para kahit anong lungsod sa Metro Manila sila pumunta dapat pareho ang policy at 'yan ang pagpupulungan mamaya ng Metro Manila Mayors,” he said.
(It should be unified so that the policy is the same for every city in Metro Manila and this is what were going to discuss in the meeting with Metro Manila mayors later.)
The mayor said enforcement will become a problem if one city imposes stricter measures while the others don’t.
“Lilipat lang ang mga kabataan sa mga lugar na mas maluwag at magiging problema sa amin 'yung sa pagpapatupad,” he said.
(The minors will just move to areas will less restrictions and enforcement will become a problem for us.)
Duterte’s call to LGUs comes after news about a 2 year old child tested positive for COVID-19 after going to the mall. The health department has said the incident was an isolated case and should not be interpreted as a need to restrict children from going outside.
Zamora said metro mayors are just waiting for the recommendations from health experts on the matter. He said MMC chairman Benhur Abalos, who is also the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, would be meeting with city health officers, the regional director of the DOH, and expert pediatricians to come up with a recommendation on what they think is best for children 12 years old and below.
“Dapat ba silang payagang pumasok sa mall? Dapat bang hindi muna sila papasukin? Dapat bang bakunado muna? Ito ang mga bagay na hinihintay namin ano ba ang final recommendation nila sapagkat ito po ay health issue and we really need the opinion of health experts,” he said.
(Should they be allowed in malls? Should they be prohibited from entering malls? Do they have to be vaccinated first? We are waiting for their final recommendation because this is a health issue and we really need the opinion of health experts.)
Metro Manila is under Alert Level 2 until the end of the month.
“Ang alert level 2 pinapayagan po ang kabataan na pumasok sa mall. So nung ito ay inanunsiyo na alert level 2 na nga po at pinapayagan na ang all age groups, bilang mga LGU kami ay sumunod sa panuntunan ng IATF,” he said.
(Under alert level 2, children are allowed to enter malls. So when alert level 2 was announced and all age groups are now allowed outside, as LGUs we only follow the guidelines set by the IATF.)
Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases in San Juan City has gone down. From a high of 1,123 last September 16, active cases is now down to 71. He believes that cases will further go down as they start administering booster shots to healthcare workers and completed the vaccination program from 12 to 17 years old.