No decision yet from Metro Manila mayors on allowing minors to visit malls: DILG

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 02 2020 03:09 PM | Updated as of Dec 02 2020 05:43 PM

People visit a mall in the Chinatown distirct in Binondo, Manila, February 12, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) clarified Wednesday that Metro Manila mayors have yet to decide whether or not minors would be allowed to visit shopping malls during the holiday season.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said Metro Manila mayors "have yet to come to a consensus" pending their 2 meetings with the Philippine Pediatric Society and other health experts regarding the matter.

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"If the Metro Manila mayors are able to come up with a common proposal allowing minors or children in malls and other public places, the final decision will still be with the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) and ultimately, the President," Año said, adding it's best to "wait for the mayors to make the recommendation."

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) issued a similar statement, saying status quo remains on age-based restrictions. 

"For now, persons aged 18-65 are allowed to go out in areas under general community quarantine, except for accessing essential goods and services," MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said. 

Garcia added he is expecting Dr. Joselyn Alonzo-Eusebio, President of the Philippine Pediatric Society, to submit their findings today or Thursday. 

Earlier this week, Año was quoted as saying that minors, as long as they are accompanied by their parents, are allowed to go out to shopping malls, even in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ). 

"Para sa Kapaskuhan, doon po sa pwede ng gradual expansion ng mga age group para makalabas, ang mga minors, basta accompanied ng magulang, ay papayagang makalabas at makapunta sa mall," Año said in a public briefing aired Monday night.

On Wednesday, the Department of Health said they are still discouraging children from going out of their houses even as the Christmas season has started.

This, as some doctors and scientists said minors in areas with low risk of virus transmission may be allowed to go out.

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