By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo’s spokesperson on Sunday recommended a measure that would allow senior citizens to leave their homes for essential tasks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Vice Presidential Spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said the government may designate special hours strictly for the elderly to shop in grocery stores and supermarkets, as is being done in other countries.
“Halimbawa, 8 o’clock to 10 o’clock ng umaga, seniors lang iyan, exclusive. Hindi kayo puwedeng mag-grocery o mamalengke kung hindi kayo senior citizen,” he said on Robredo’s radio show, “BISErbisyong Leni.”
(For example, from 8 o’clock to 10 o’clock in the morning will be exclusively for seniors. Those who are not senior citizens are not allowed to go to groceries or shop in markets.)
“Pagkatapos noon, ito naman, iyong para sa mga tao na hindi senior citizen. So bakit hindi ganoon ang pag-aralan na i-implement?”
(After them, those who are not senior citizens will be next. So why don’t we study the implementation of such a measure?)
With this, Robredo’s spokesperson pointed out that senior citizens will not be barred from going out of their homes while the government ensures the safety of those who are vulnerable to contracting the deadly disease.
Gutierrez made the suggestion after many senior citizens complained they have been kept from leaving their homes even as their areas have been placed under the general community quarantine or GCQ.
A relaxed quarantine took effect on May 1 in several provinces. Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and other high-risk areas are kept under the enhanced community quarantine until May 15.
Under the guidelines for areas under the quarantine, several essential businesses are allowed to partially resume their operations.
However, senior citizens or those aged 60 and above, as well as the young or 20 years old and below, are restricted from leaving their homes during the quarantine period.