Minors still not allowed outside under Alert Level 3, MMDA clarifies

Published October 21, 2021, 1:03 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Minors or those 18 years old below in the National Capital Region (NCR) are still not allowed to go to the malls and parks without valid reason under Alert Level 3, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said Thursday, Oct. 21.

Abalos clarified that minors will only be allowed to go to these places if they are availing of essential services, such as dental or medical, or will be conducting outdoor exercises.

“Kamukha sa malls, pupunta sa malls. Generally, bawal po ‘yan, except kung let’s say, nandoon yung dentista, andoon yung clinic (Like going to the malls, generally that’s not allowed, except when the children are going to their dentists or to the clinic), because these are essential or basic ,” Abalos said in an online briefing.

“The rule of thumb is this: Isipin nyo, ang anak nyo walang bakuna, ang anak nyo very vulnerable. Dapat po talaga, proteksiyunan natin ang bata (Think of your kids. They’re not yet vaccinated, so they’re vulnerable. We should protect them),” he added.

Over the weekend, photos shared on social media showed scores of individuals, including kids, crowding an upscale neighborhood in Taguig City. Some children were not even properly wearing their face masks.

The same situation happened in the Manila Bay, wherein parents brought their kids as the Dolomite beach reopened to the public.

Just like Abalos, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque also maintained that “children are still not allowed to roam around, except for individual outdoor exercises.”

“Kasi ‘di pa sila bakunado, kaya susceptible pa rin sila (Because they’re not yet vaccinated, so they’re still susceptible to getting infected),” Roque said.

On the other hand, intrazonal and interzonal travel of children are allowed, subject to restrictions imposed by the local government unit of their destination. They must also be accompanied by their parents or adult guardians, according to Alert Level 3 guidelines provided by the national government.