Malacañang on Tuesday said restrictions are still “tight” despite the reopening of the economy, including the decision to allow minors to enter shopping malls as long as they are accompanied by their parents.
In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that because several workers suffered losses, there is a need to allow more people outside to revive economic activity.
“Talaga pong napakadami ng walang trabaho dahil dito sa pandemyang ito. Ang kinakailangan po natin habang hinihintay natin ang bakuna eh we need to live with the virus at kaya po natin iyan kung pangangalagaan natin ang ating mga buhay para tayo po ay makapaghanapbuhay (There were so many who lost their jobs during the pandemic. While waiting for a vaccine, we need to live with the virus and we can do that if we take care of ourselves so we can work),” he said.
Roque said the guidelines for allowing minors to enter malls will be prepared by the Metro Manila Council and other local government units.
“Ito naman po ay subject pa rin sa guidelines ng bubuuin ng Metro Manila Council at ng mga iba’t-ibang lokal na pamahalaan. So, pangangalagaan din natin na hindi magiging super spreaders nga ang mga bata kaya nga po ang isang basic requirement dapat kasama nila ang kanilang mga magulang (It is subject to guidelines that will be crafted by the Metro Manila Council and other local governments. So we have to take care to ensure that minors won’t become super spreaders that’s why the basic requirement is for them to be accompanied by parents),” he said.
In a meeting with Cabinet members on Monday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año announced that the government intends to ease the age-based restriction.
He also acknowledged fears over a possible surge in cases during the holiday season but noted that the Philippines is among the countries with the most restrictive type of lockdown.
“Lahat naman ng buong mundo eh kinakatakutan ang virus pero tayo talaga ay naging super restrictive pagdating sa movement kaya po binubuksan na po (The entire world is afraid of the virus and we have been super restrictive when it comes to movement that’s why we’re opening the economy),” he added.
While restrictions have been eased, Roque pointed out the need to continue implementing minimum health and safety standards.
“Tight pa rin po ang restrictions somehow (Restrictions are still tight somehow),” he added, noting that several leisure activities are still prohibited in areas under general community quarantine.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte decided to extend the implementation of GCQ in Metro Manila until the end of the year.
The provinces of Davao del Norte, Batangas, and Lanao del Sur, and cities of Iloilo, Tacloban, Iligan, and Davao will remain under general community quarantine until Dec. 31.
All other places in the country will be under the most relaxed modified general GCQ).
Under current guidelines in GCQ areas, a person below 15 years old and those above 65 years old, with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women must remain indoors at all times, except when obtaining essential goods and services. (PNA)