By Ellson A. Quismorio
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against the COVID-19 pandemic ought to rethink its resolution barring senior citizens in quarantine areas from going out of their homes, Cagayan de Oro 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said.
In a statement on April 29, Wednesday, Rodriguez said he was swamped with complaints from senior citizen-friends, acquaintances, and constituents regarding the IATF regulation.
“I can understand and even share their sentiments. Like many of us public officials who are 60 years old and above, they are physically fit to work and move around,” said Rodriguez, who is 66.
“Some have retired from the government or the private sector, and a big number of them now run their own small businesses while some are captains of industry,” he bared.
The veteran solon-lawyer pointed out that the top executives of various industries as well as officials of the national government, its agencies, and local government units are mostly senior citizens.
As such, Rodriguez said it is the prevailing sentiment of senior citizens that if the IATF rule is applied to them, it should apply to everyone of them whether they are in government or the private sector.
The complainants are also claiming it’s even more dangerous for their physical and mental health to continue to be kept in their homes, especially those who live by themselves alone or with their spouses, he added.
Rodriguez says some of the complainants are invoking their freedom or liberty to travel and the equal protection clause of the Constitution in appealing that they be allowed to leave their abode. “They still want to work and be active.”
“They are asking the IATF to trust them with their own safety. They will always wash their hands, wear face masks when going out, and always observe social distancing,” he further said.