The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) clarified Thursday that senior citizens who are working and living alone in GCQ areas could go out starting May 1.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in an interview over dzMM that are senior citizens who are still active and working. Some of them are executives and company managers so they could be given an exemption, said Año.
“Yun naman mga seniors na walang naman silang kasamang mas nakababata, they’re just living alone, mga retired, pwede rin silang lumabas para naman sila ay makabili ng pagkain or makabili ng anumang bagay na kailangan nila,” he added.
(Those seniors who are living alone, the retired ones, they could still go outside to buy food or anything that they need.)
The government earlier announced that several establishments and businesses would be allowed to reopen for areas under the GCQ.
The GCQ guidelines, however, stated that individuals aged 60 years old and above are prohibited from leaving their homes to protect them from acquiring the virus.
Senior citizens working, living in GCQ areas can go out-DILG
“Alam naman natin na vulnerable sector itong senior citizens. Ayon sa analytics, kapag tinamaan yung ating mga senior citizens, almost 80 percent ay namamatay. Kaya napaka delikado, kailangan alagaan natin sila,” Año said.
(We know that senior citizens belong to the vulnerable sector. According to analytics, when the virus hit our senior citizens, almost 80 percent of them die. It’s so dangerous. We have to take care of them.)
“Pero yung mga wala namang dahilan, may mga kasama naman sila, please naman ‘wag na kayong lalabas kasi hindi talaga biro itong COVID kapag ang tamaan ay senior citizens,” he added.
(But those who have no valid reason, please do not go outside because COVID is not a joke, especially when senior citizens contract it.)
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Monday urged the government to reconsider its GCQ policy that prohibits the elderly to go out of their homes.
“A policy solely based on old age runs the risk of disproportionately discriminating older people who need to go outside their homes for essential activities, including work and the procurement of basic goods and services, and those who live alone or with other older family members,” said Karen Gomez Dumpit, Focal Commissioner on Aging and the Rights of Older Persons.