NCR mayors awaiting experts’ opinion on allowing minors in malls

NO MINORS IN MALLS. The interior of a mall in Quezon City. The Metro Manila Council on Wednesday has agreed to retain the ban on minors in malls in the National Capital Region and may reconsider the decision after consultation with pediatric experts. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald Alfiler)

MANILA – The Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR) and several national government officials, wants minors to remain barred in malls until health experts present facts and their opinions on the matter.

In a virtual press briefing on Wednesday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Arturo Garcia said the MMC has decided on retaining the status quo, noting that they have consulted with the Philippine Pediatric Society, led by Dr. Jocelyn Alonzo, in coordination with the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines.

“Sabi ng mga (As said by the) mayors, we’re really not experts here. We cannot risk the lives of the minors dahil kelangan dito ang mag-decide, humingi tayo ng opinyon sa (because those making decisions must ask for the opinion of) experts,” Garcia said.

Once the MMC receives the input of experts, he said the group will again meet to discuss the matter and vote on the decision.

Currently, only those 18 to 65 years old are allowed to visit malls in NCR while the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is currently allowing those 15 to 65 years old to visit malls in other areas as part of eased quarantine rules.

‘Yung 15, 16, 17 hindi muna sinama ng mga mayors kasi nga ‘yung activities nito more on sa leisure. Kaya hindi pinayagan (Those 15, 16, 17 years old were not included by the mayors because their activities will mostly revolve around leisure. That why they’re not allowed),” Garcia said.

Earlier, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año called on Metro Manila mayors to draft unified guidelines for allowing minors in malls and hoped that a consensus on the matter will be reached soon. (PNA)

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