Pateros mayor backs move for kids to stay home due to Delta variant threat

Published July 21, 2021, 12:07 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

Pateros Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III said he supports the unanimous decisiion of Metro Manila mayors for the temporary suspension of the government’s policy allowing minors from five to 17 years old to go to outdoor areas due to the emerging threat of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Ponce said he signed, together with the mayors of the Metro Manila Council (MMC), a resolution urging the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to suspend the implementation of its resolution to allow minors to go outdoors.

Pateros Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III

“We, at the Metro Manila Council, already passed a resolution or signed a resolution requesting the IATF to hold the implementation allowing kids to go out. I think this is right because of the threat of the Delta variant, we have to ensure the safety of the kids. In other countries, it was seen that one of those affected by the Delta variant are the kids,” the mayor said in a live broadcast Wednesday.

He said it is best that kids should not be allowed to go out until it has been established that the Delta variant is not spreading in the country. He added that the Delta variant is 40 to 60 percent more contagious than other variants of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Once the IATF approves the request regarding minors, Ponce said he will issue an executive order on the rules relative to its implementation.

MMC Chairman and Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez on Tuesday confirmed that the Metro Manila mayors unanimously decided to recommend to the IATF the deferment of its decision.

The IATF issued Resolution No. 125 last July 8, declaring that “in areas under the Modified General Community Quarantine and General Community Quarantine, except those under heightened restrictions, children five (5) years old and above may be able to go to outdoor areas…provided that the child is supervised by adult/s and is in observance of minimum public health standards such as the wearing of face masks and social distancing.”

The resolution allows LGUs to “increase the above age restriction of children depending on the COVID-19 situation in their respective jurisdictions.”

According to the IATF, five-year-old children and above can be allowed to go to outdoor areas such as parks, playgrounds, beaches, biking and hiking trails, outdoor tourist sites and attractions as may be defined by the Department of Tourism, outdoor non-contact sports courts and venues, and al fresco dining establishments in areas under MGCQ and GCQ except in those with heightened restrictions.