January 15, 2021
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez expressed hope on Friday to further open up the economy by lowering the age restriction of those who should stay at home.
In the "Laging Handa" public briefing, Lopez suggested that the age limit of those who could go out should be brought down to 10 years old from current 15 years old to 65 years old.
"It's important to gradually (lower the age), so for example, currently, the youngest is 15 years old, we can gradually (further lower it), may be 10 years old," he said.
He said those 10 years old may no longer be that naughty when they are outside and they are likely to follow the health protocols, such as wearing of face mask and face shield.
Lopez believed that despite further reopening of the economy and the threat of new strain of COVID-19 virus, the number of cases would not suddenly spike.
"We have high confidence that we can manage the virus based on the statistics, the numbers of COVID cases," he said.
He recalled that when the economy re-opened after the lockdown last year, the coronavirus cases did not really surge.
"So, I think it is manageable for as long as it is gradual and safe...so it is not bad to consider to expand the age segment of those who will be allowed to go out," the Trade chief said.
Lopez has been pushing to open more the economy, noting that some sectors, which are already allowed to operate, have restrained recovery.
"It's because the customers who are expected to patronize them, let's say the stores, the commercial areas and the malls have limited movement because there are still age restrictions...so those coming out are still limited, those consuming are still limited," he added. Celerina Monte/DMS
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