Metro Manila Council won't allow minors 17 years and below to go to malls
The Metro Manila Council has decided not to allow minors aged 17 and below to go outside, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Thursday.
In a virtual press conference, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said the MMC unanimously agreed to prohibit minors after the recommendation of Philippine Pediatrics Society and Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines.
Garcia said medical experts disallowed minors from entering commercial establishments and other outdoor areas, such as shopping malls.
“Having high immune system, pediatrics experts said that minors who are infected of COVID-19 are usually asymptomatic carriers of the virus. They might be transmitting the virus unknowingly, especially to those vulnerable,” said Garcia.
"Persons aged 18-65 years old are the only ones allowed to go inside malls in Metro Manila,” he added.
However, Garcia said essential activities done inside the malls such as medical and dental check-ups, buying food, and medicines are allowed for all ages, including minors and senior citizens ? as long as the minimum health protocols such as wearing of face mask and face shield and physical distancing are strictly observed.
Minors are also allowed to do non-contact sports such as biking and jogging, subject to interpretation of local government units (LGUs) through their respective existing ordinances.
Garcia thanked Interior Secretary Eduardo Año for supporting the decision of Metro Manila mayors, since the enforcement lies on the local government unit.
The MMDA official reminded mall owners and the LGUs of their responsibility to ensure no minors will be allowed to go inside their establishments and other outdoor areas.
He said penalties to be imposed will depend on the LGUs. Ella Dionisio/DMS