DTI backs easing of age restrictions for economic recovery
MANILA, Philippines — Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on Friday expressed support for the gradual easing of age restrictions possibly down to 10 years old to help the economic recovery of the country.
In a televised briefing, Lopez agreed with the call of Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua to let more children and families out of their homes to shop and spend while still observing safety protocols.
“Hindi po masama namang i-consider ang pagpalawak ng age segment na papayagan na din lumabas. So kunwari ngayon, 15 years old ang pinakabata, puwede natin unti-untiin, maybe 10 years old,” Lopez said during the Laging Handa briefing.
(It’s not bad to consider expanding the age segment allowed to go out of their homes. Right now, 15 years old is the youngest, we can gradually ease that down to maybe 10 years old.)
Lopez expressed confidence that 10-year-old children will comply with minimum health standards like wearing face masks and face shields when stepping outside of their homes.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases only allows persons aged 15 to 65 to go out of their homes.
The task force gave local government units the authority to adjust the age limit depending on the COVID-19 situation in their respective jurisdictions.
Despite many sectors reopening since June last year, Lopez said age restrictions have dampened the demand for these businesses.
“Dahil po dyan, kung tayo po ay nagnanais makabalik at makarecover ang ating ekonomiya, kailangan talagang dahan dahanin din natin ang pagluwag pagdating sa age restriction,” he went on.
(Because of this, if we want to restore and recover the economy, we need to gradually ease the age restrictions.)
Earlier, Chua said community quarantines have “restricted economic activity from children and families.”
Based on their consultations with malls and fast-food chains, some 32 to 50 percent of their sales are driven by family consumption as opposed to individual or worker consumption.
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