Metro Manila mayors let IATF have final say on minors' mobility

Published November 19, 2021, 4:37 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

All Metro Manila mayors have agreed on Friday, Nov. 19, to leave it to the national government’s pandemic task force on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to establish the guidelines on the mobility of children below 12 years old as more people, including the unvaccinated kids, are now going outside due to the easing of quarantine restrictions.

(File photo)

Under Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Resolution No. 21-29, the 17 local chief executives in Metro Manila and MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos formally endorsed the mobility restrictions on minors to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases “in the interest of consistency in policy setting.”

The mayors believe that coming up with a decision on the matter needs scientific and empirical data as well as recommendations from the health, epidemiological, and pediatric experts.

The MMDA resolution was released in response to President Duterte’s appeal to the mayors to create an ordinance for age restriction among minors as “we cannot allow those below 12 years old or those who are still unvaccinated to be exposed to the risk of getting COVID-19 in public places.”

Duterte previously raised concern on minors roaming in public places after he learned about a two-year-old child who got infected with COVID-19 after reportedly going to the mall.

With this, Abalos said that minora can still go to the malls until the IATF comes up with a new policy.

Currently, the government only allows the vaccination of children and adolescents aged 12 to 17.