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July 15, 2021

NCR Mayors Agree to Craft EO, Ordinance Following IATF Policy on Child-Friendly Zones

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) approved a resolution urging local government units of Metro Manila to issue executive orders and/or enact ordinances in accordance with the government’s latest policy allowing children aged five and above to go outdoors in areas under general and modified general community quarantine as long as the areas are not under heightened restrictions.

The Council, by virtue of Resolution No. 21-11 Series of 2021, urges the LGUs of Metro Manila to issue executive orders and/or enact ordinances setting forth the following:

• Listing and identifying allowable outdoor areas or parks, which areas shall be made known to the public through publication by the LGUs of Metro Manila and by MMDA;

• Defining “parks” so as to pertain to al fresco or to those areas which are without roofs even though they are beside an establishment or outside of malls so long as the air is free-flowing;

• Imposing a fifty percent (50%) limit in the venue capacity in order to avoid overcrowding;

• Providing for the deployment of marshals in privately-owned outdoor areas or parks to ensure compliance with the minimum public health standards and protocols;

• Minors must be accompanied by adults; and

• Other conditions which are reasonable under the circumstances as may be determined by the Local Government Units of Metro Manila in order to ensure the promotion and protection of the welfare of the minors.

The resolution was unanimously approved by all the local chief executives of Metro Manila on July 14.

“These are the conditions that Metro Manila mayors could adopt in issuing executive orders or crafting their respective ordinances in their localities,” said Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos.

Abalos said it is important that guidelines and protocols are in place for outdoor places accessible to children aged five and above amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another important factor to be considered is the capacity of the outdoor area as overcrowding in open spaces can lead to COVID-19 super spreader events.

“With reference to the children below 18 years of age, it should be clear whether they should be accompanied by adults. There should be marshals to monitor certain limits,” said Abalos.

On July 8, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued Resolution No. 125 Series of 2021 allowing children five years old and above to go to outdoor areas under modified general community quarantine and general community quarantine, except those under heightened restrictions, subject to the observance of minimum public health standards.

The MMC, composed of the 17 Metro Manila mayors, is the governing and policy-making body of the MMDA.

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