Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Wednesday said that Metro Manila mayors have agreed to consult with pediatric experts before deciding whether to allow minors inside the malls.
In an interview over DZMM, Moreno added that he has also asked Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuña and the Manila Council to draft their recommendation on the issue.
“Basta po sakaling magdedesisyon, ang inatas naman sa amin kung mapagdedesisyunan ng lokal, gagawa po ng ordinansa. In fact, pinag-aaralan po namin kung paano gagawin ang ordinansa. Kahapon kausap ko na si Vice Mayor Honey Lacuña at ang konseho at pag-aralan na,” Moreno said.
Last Tuesday night, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) met to discuss the matter and agreed to consult with the experts before coming up with a unified position on whether minors ages 15 and below will be allowed inside the malls.
“Pinag-aaralan namin nang husto. Ano nga ba ang magiging epekto, ano ang suhestiyon ng mga sayentipiko especially ng mga doktor? Totoo ba ang bata hindi masyadong kinakapitan ng virus? Meron din mga lathalain sa iba’t ibang dako ng mundo na meron ding mga batang naiimpeksyon,” Moreno said.
Moreno added that there is also a study showing that children can become a superspreader of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“If I am not mistaken ‘yung Harvard community came up with the other studies, posibleng ang nagdudulot din ang mga bata ng impeksyon papasok sa loob ng bahay. So, these are balancing act that we are really trying to manage the risks,” the mayor said.
He added that the capability of the local government to manage the increase in COVID-19 cases is also being considered.
“Gaano ba kalaki ang posibleng numero ng impeksyon at ang kapasidad namin? Hindi naman kaila sa inyo, kami naman ay nakapaghanda nang husto in terms of load capacity with regard to our medical health institution through our quarantine facilities,” he said.
During the meeting of the Cabinet last Monday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has allowed minors inside the malls provided they are accompanied by their parents or elders.
For his part, Joint Task Force COVID Shield Commander Police Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag said that an ordinance issued by respective local government units is needed before minors are allowed to enter the malls.