‘Urong-sulong’? Palace denies flip-flopping after Duterte rejected easing age restrictions
MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte’s decision to reverse the recommendation to allow children aged 10 to 14 out of their homes in modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas may not be construed as fickle-mindedness or flip-flopping in implementing its policy to curb the coronavirus pandemic, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque denied that the government was waffling, noting that it wasn’t the first time that the President rejected the recommendation of the Interagency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
“Hindi naman po tayo nag-uurong-sulong because I know, this is the first time na, hindi, second time na ni-revoke ni Presidente ang rekomendasyon,” he said during his regular televised online press briefing.
(We are not being fickle-minded because I know this is the first time, I mean the second time that the President revoked the recommendation.)
“I don’t think so, kasi IATF was created by the President to assist as a recommendatory body. In fact, the IATF has no legislative foundation other than exercise of executive power,” he further said.
In December last year, the President recalled his approval of the education sector’s proposal to conduct the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes due to the threat of the new coronavirus variant.
“Ngayon naman po, itong namang 10 to 14 dahil din po sa new variant. So sa tingin ko naman po, maiintindihan ng taumbayan kung bakit ganito ang desisyon ni President because we don’t know enough about this new variant,” said Roque.
(And now, allowing those aged 10 to 14 out was revoked also due to the new variant. I think the people will understand the President’s decision because we don’t know enough about this new variant.)
In a pre-recorded speech on Monday, Duterte said those children from 10 to 14 years old should just stay home as a precautionary measure against the new Covid-19 variant already detected in some parts of the country.
So far, there are 17 individuals in the Philippines who have been confirmed infected with the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
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