Unvaccinated minors should remain at home “as a general rule”.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque gave this reminder to the public Tuesday, Oct. 26 amid the confusion on whether or not children are allowed to go outdoors with the recent lowering of alert level in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Nasa IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) resolution naman po yan (That is in the IATF resolution). As a general rule, stay home pa rin ang mga bata habang hindi pa sila bakunado (children should stay home while they are unvaccinated),” he said during a virtual press conference.
“Pero may exception naman po yun. Pwede sila lumabas for exercise, pwede sila lumabas sa open areas dahil importante rin po yan sa mental health (But there are exceptions to that. They can go out for exercise, they can go to open areas because that is important to mental health),” Roque added.
Earlier this month, the alert level in NCR was lowered from alert level 4 to alert level 3.
This, coupled with the launch of pediatric vaccination of minors aged 12 to 17 against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) created the impression on some Filipinos that it was all right to bring their kids outdoors.
This was evident with the deluge of people over the weekend at Manila Bay’s dolomite beach, where a lot of small children were seen with their parents.
Roque said that while children can go to open spaces as an exception, specifically bringing them to far places is not advisable.
“Ang dapat lang natin i-emphasize, hindi pa rin dapat i-byahe ang mga bata doon sa mga sites na ganito. Pero at the same time, siguro yung mga nandun sa area na yun ay pupwede naman pumunta roon dahil open area yun (What we should emphasize is, children shouldn’t be transported to these sites. But at the same time, those residing in that area may go there since that’s an open area),” the Palace mouthpiece said.
There were reports that some of the dolomite beach goers came from outside Metro Manila.
At any rate, Roque expressed his support for the artificial white beach project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources ((DENR).
“Importante na magkaroon naman po ng respite at konting libangan (It’s important to get a bit of respite and entertainment), which is good for the mental health of everyone, including our children.”