Palace justifies easing of age restriction: For kids’ mental health, PH economic recovery
MANILA, Philippines — Allowing children as young as 10 to go out of their homes in modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas will be “good for their physical, social and mental health” and will help the country’s economic recovery, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque assured the public that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease “weighed all sides” before deciding to ease restrictions from 15 to 65 years old down to 10 to 65 years old.
“Filipino children have already stayed in their homes for ten months now, and allowing those to leave their houses, especially on a weekend activity, is good for their physical, social and mental health,” Roque said in a statement.
Roque also stressed that the easing of the age restriction is different from allowing children to come to face-to-face classes because physical distance inside classrooms would not work.
“Students attending face-to-face classes would have higher exposure to the virus given the intensity of interaction of children in school with their classmates,” said Roque.
“On the other hand, children who are allowed to go out on the weekend or during their free time (as online classes / modular learning are ongoing) will be with their parents and/or relatives. It is family bonding and interaction is akin to a ‘family bubble’ since it is limited to family members – the same people they are with at their homes – thus it is safer,” he went on.
Roque said those who are at least 10 years old have started to develop cognitive skills of following instructions from adults, adding that they “are less frisky compared to younger children.”
The Palace official also said the decision was part of the government’s goal to spur economic recovery.
“This IATF decision likewise forms part of the overarching goal of reopening the economy thus promoting recovery. Not easing restrictions may have a longer impact on jobs, income, poverty and hunger leading to further economic deterioration as well as health issues,” Roque said.
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua earlier proposed to let more children and families outside their homes go shopping and spend money while observing safety protocols.
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