Malacañang said that the government’s pandemic task force is set to meet to finalize the new age group that will be allowed to go outside their homes as the country reopens the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after it was reported that President Duterte’s Cabinet approved the recommendation expanding the age group of people allowed to go outside from 21 to 60 years old to 15 to 65 years old.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, Roque clarified that the proposed age group was just used as an example when the Cabinet approved in toto all recommendations of the economic cluster, including expanding the age group of people who can leave their homes.
“Ang nakasulat doon sa (What was written in the) recommendation is ‘e.g. 15-65’ which means ‘for example’,” he told “The Source” on Wednesday.
“So, although we approved, in toto, the recommendations, ‘e.g. 15-65’ means it’s only for example,” he added.
According to Roque, the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will have to meet to finalize the age group of people who will be allowed to go outside their homes.
“I took that to mean that the IATF will have to meet and agree once and for all kung ano ang bagong (what will be the new) ages,” he said.
The Palace official, however, said that the proposed age of 65 years old will be approved.
“I’m confident that the age of 65 will remain. I do not know what age will be allowable for the younger population,” Roque said.
The IATF has prohibited those below 21 years old and those 60 years old and above from leaving their residence as they are more at risk of spreading and getting COVID-19.
Those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, other health risks, and pregnant women, including any person who resides with them are also required to remain in their residences at all times.
However, they may leave their homes if they are the only ones who can get essential goods and services for themselves and/or their families.