The Daily Manila Shimbun


LGUs under MGCQ may relax tourists’ age limit, says IATF

November 20, 2020

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is giving the local government units in areas under modified general community quarantine the leeway to relax the age restrictions of travelers for tourism purposes.

The relaxation of restrictions is subject to consultation with concerned national government agencies, IATF Resolution No. 84 issued on November 19 said.

"Any person below 15 years old, those who are over 65 years old, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women shall be required to remain in their residence at all times," it said.

But in areas under MGCQ, the IATF said, "the aforementioned age restrictions for travelers for tourism purposes may be relaxed upon the determination of local government units, and subject to prior consultation with the DOT (Department of Tourism), DOH (Department of Health), and DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) and the development of specific guidelines for this purpose."

In the same resolution, the Task Force has allowed the conduct of the nationwide Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Consumer Payments Survey in accordance with Republic Act No. 11127 or the "National Payments System Act" as well as RA No. 11211 or the "Act Amending RA No. 7653, otherwise known as the Central Bank Act, and for Other Purposes."

This is in recognition that such an activity is an exercise of a critical government function, and that the same had been initially approved by the Philippine Statistics Authority and duly coordinated with the League of Cities of the Philippines and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.

"For the avoidance of doubt, enumerators of the survey activity, whether directly employed/engaged or subcontracted, shall be considered authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) and shall be permitted interzonal travel whenever performing their functions as such, pursuant to the Section [7](2)(a) of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines," IATF said.

The Task Force also approved the adoption of guidelines for the conduct of onsite written, oral, and practical specialty and subspecialty examinations as issued by the Philippine Medical Association.

It said the PMA representative should be present during the conduct of such examinations to ensure and enforce compliance with said guidelines.

The specialty/subspecialty divisions or societies conducting the same must designate persons who will comprise and function as an epidemiology and surveillance unit pursuant to Section 1(f) of Rule X of the 2020 Revised Implementing Rules and Regionals of RA 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.

The IATF said no waiver of liability or COVID-19 testing shall be required or examinees subject to strict compliance with minimum public health standards for duration of the activities and that the PMA shall be required to coordinate the schedule of examination as well as the prospective number of examinees to the Task Force. Celerina Monte/DMS