Gov’t eyes relaxing stay-at-home rule for seniors, young people

Published October 13, 2020, 6:50 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Amid efforts to stimulate economic activity during the pandemic, the government has endorsed a proposal to slowly relax the stay-at-home rule for some seniors and young people.


According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the Cabinet has approved the recommendation of the economic cluster on the “gradual expansion of the age group allowed to go out” of their houses.

The economic team, in a report to President Duterte and the Cabinet last Monday, cited an example of people between 15 years old and 65 years old who may be allowed to leave their homes.

The further opening up of the domestic economy was tackled during the President’s closed-door meeting with the Cabinet in Malacañang Monday.

“What was approved was iyong gradual expansion of the age group allowed to go out so titingnan po natin (so we will see) if it will really be 15 to 65 (years old) kasi dito sa recommendation hindi fixed (because in the recommendation it is not fixed),” Roque said during a televised press briefing, reading the recommendations from the President’s economic team.

“I think ang ibig sabihin nito is babaguhin talaga iyong edad pero let me see (I think this means the age group will be changed but let me see). I think we will give some leeway to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases) to actually fix kung anong edad iyan (the age group),” he added.

Under the IATF’s community quarantine rules, any person below 21 years old and above 60 years old, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women are required to remain at home at all times. Exempted from the stay-at-home rule are those “obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices.”

Allowing more people to leave their homes was proposed by the President’s economic team after recommending an increase in the opening of businesses in priority areas. The other recommendations are shorter curfew hours, multiple work shifts, and further gradual expansion of business capacity to 75 to 100 percent.