Given the recent Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution (IATF) on the movement of minors, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr said children below 18 years old are still generally not allowed to go out in Metro Manila.
Under current IATF guidelines, those belonging to the vulnerable population including the elderly, pregnant women, those with co-morbidities, and children below 18 years old shall be allowed access to obtain essential goods and services and work in permitted industries. They can likewise do individual outdoor exercises, regardless of vaccination status.
Other than those mentioned above, children are still not allowed to be out in public, especially in indoor areas because they are not yet vaccinated and are still susceptible to the virus, said Secretary Roque in a press briefing on October 21, 2021.
“Hindi naman po binago ang rule, kung kinakailangan dahil ito po ay necessity, para bumili ng gamot, para bumili ng pagkain, para magtrabaho ay hindi naman po sila pinagbabawalan,” said Sec. Roque.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairperson Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. affirmed the Palace spokesperson’s statement, citing the relevant IATF guideline on the matter, as mentioned above.
Chair Abalos added that intrazonal and interzonal travel shall also be allowed subject to reasonable restrictions based on age and comorbidities as may be determined by the local government units (LGUs).
Abalos reiterated that the rule of thumb that parents should follow in allowing their children to be out in public, is to think of the protection of their children because they are vulnerable and to always maintain the minimum public health protocols if and when children need to be out.
Meanwhile, Secretary Roque clarified that all provinces that were included in the extended pilot implementation of the Alert Levels System were informed of their inclusion in the pilot.
“Hindi po siguro nakonsulta ang buong League of Governors kasi hindi naman po i-implement sa lahat ng probinsya ang Alert Levels System. Pero yung mga lugar na [kasama sa] expanded pilot areas, nakonsulta po sila dahil mga lokal na pamahalaan naman po ang magpapatupad nitong Alert Levels System,” Roque said.
The Palace and concurrent IATF spokesperson added that while there is no conclusion yet as to the result of the initial pilot implementation of the Alert Levels System, preliminary data show that the new system works, which was enough to expand the pilot implementation to other areas, which would help give conclusive data as to whether the Alert Levels System and granular lockdowns are better than the old system of classifying areas for the purpose of community quarantine.
On vaccinations update, Roque mentioned that close to 54 million or 53, 838, 248 total vaccine doses have been administered nationwide as of October 20, 2021 data from the National COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard. Of this number, 32.35 percent or 24, 876, 889 are fully vaccinated all over the Philippines.
For Metro Manila, 93.34 percent or 9, 125, 604 have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 81.4 percent or 7, 957, 963 are fully vaccinated, said Roque. ###