Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) general manager Jojo Garcia announced that minors are still not allowed to go out in Metro Manila amid general community quarantine.
Garcia said the Metro Manila mayors agreed to still prohibit minors from going out. This means minors would not also be allowed inside malls.
“Unanimous po, 17-0, the mayors will not allow minors to go out,” Garcia said.
However, Garcia said minors aged 17 and below are allowed to go out only if for essential purposes or if they would exercise.
He added the mayors discussed the matter with health experts before coming up with the decision.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Wednesday the Department of Health maintained that children below 14 years old and elderly over 66 should not be allowed to go outside to prevent COVID-19 spread.
“Ang posisyon namin, hindi po nagbabago. We discourage that kasi meron pa ring risk,” Duque said at an online forum.
“Sa siyam na buwan na karanasan natin sa COVID-19, three to five percent po ng total infected cases natin ay sa mga bata nangyari. Hindi po sila exempted sa hawaan,” Duque added.
Final decision: Minors still not allowed to go out in Metro Manila
Likewise, the DOH chief clarified that the DOH is not banning Christmas celebrations but urging to limit them to immediate families.
“Hindi po ipinagbabawal ng DOH ang holiday celebration. Gusto lang po natin ito limitahan sa immediate family members. Hindi na po muna [kasali ang] mga kamag-anak na galing sa ibang lugar,” Duque said.
(The DOH does not prohibit holiday celebrations. We just want to limit it to immediate family members. No more [including] relatives from other places.)
“Kasi sa siyam na buwan na may pandemya, ang nakakahawa po ay iyong mga walang sintomas o kung meron man, mild lang,” Duque added.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) proposed allowing children seven to 14 years old inside malls as long as their parents or guardians accompany them.
However, DILG said local government units would still to issue ordinances before implementing the measure.