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Metro Manila mayors to vote on whether to allow minors in malls

By: - Reporter / @ConsINQ
/ 12:42 PM December 02, 2020
MMDA's Jojo Garcia

MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo “Jojo” Garcia. INQUIRER.net file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila mayors will soon vote on whether to allow minors to visit malls after discussing medical experts’ opinion about the matter, an official of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Wednesday.

“Magkakaroon kami [Metro Manila Council] ng emergency meeting ulit. Kasi based on facts, ipe-present ko naman ‘yan [experts’ opinion on minors visiting malls] sa Metro Manila Council. Still mayors will decide and vote on that and whatever decision they have, we are going to recommend it noh,” MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia told reporters in an online press briefing when asked about updates on allowing minors to visit malls.

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(We will have an emergency meeting again. Based on facts, I will present it to the MMC. Still mayors will decide and vote on that and whatever decision they have, we are going to recommend it.

“At Sabi ni [Interior] Secretary [Eduardo] Año at IATF nakasuporta sila kaya lang dapat may local ordinance sila,” he added.

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(Año and the IATF said they will support the decision as long as the mayors agreed to create an ordinance.)

Garcia said 17 mayors in Metro Manila  discussed in a meeting on Tuesday night that they will consult first with medical experts before allowing minors to enter malls.

Garcia noted that Philippine Pediatric Society (PDS) will present to Metro Manila mayors  by Thursday, Dec. 3 the medical facts on allowing minors at malls.

“It is not a recommendation, iyon ang facts. Sabi nga nila, kasi sabi nila [medical experts], private sila kung baga ayaw nila makielam. Hindi sila mag-re-recommend o kokontra. Sasabihin nila yung facts, and pros and cons so nangako naman na, hopefully today or tomorrow, maglalabas sila [experts],” Garcia said when asked about the timeline on deciding whether to allow minors to visit malls.

(Experts said they don’t want to intrude. They won’t recommend or criticize. They will just give facts and pros and cons so they already made promises that hopefully they will give the facts today and tomorrow.)

Garcia noted that mayors decided to wait first for experts’ opinion because local chief executives want to be careful in case of COVID-19 surge.

“Nagdecide kami na, we will wait for the opinion of the experts. Sabi nga nila papayagan iyan [minors going to malls], na magkaroon ng surge, ang sisishin mayors e. Hindi naman mga doctor iyang mga mayors natin,” Garcia said.

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(We decided to wait for experts’ opinions. If we allow this, and a surge of COVID-19 cases occur, mayors will be blamed. Our mayors are not doctors.)

“They are just decision makers. We are waiting for the opinion of the Pediatric Society of the Philippines. We will discuss it again sa mga mayors at boboto,” he went on.

For now, Garcia said only those belong in the age group of 18 to 65 are allowed to go outside during the general community quarantine. Minors are still not allowed to leave their homes except for essential services.

“Sabi nag status quo muna, hindi tayo nagbotohan kasi ayaw nila magbotohan nang walang expert opinion. Iyong sinabi natin ang Metro Manila, as of today, 18 to 65 [years old] lang ang pwede lumabas except for essentials,” he said.

(We followed the status quo first. We did not vote on it last night because we cannot just decide without experts’ opinion. In Metro Manila, as of today, only those aged 18 to 65 years old, are allowed to go outside.)

On Tuesday, Año clarified that minors are still prohibited from going to malls unless local government units create an ordinance that would allow children to visit the said establishments.

JPV

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TAGS: COVID-19, malls, Metro, MMDA, surge
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