Elderly can still go out for essential tasks under ECQ – Roque

Lian Buan
Elderly can still go out for essential tasks under ECQ – Roque
The exemptions are for 'obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices,' as well as medical checkups and procedures

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s coronavirus task force clarified on Thursday, April 30, that the elderly can still leave their homes for essential tasks or if their jobs are considered essential under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) rules.

Roque, spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases, made the clarification in response to complaints from senior citizens that they have been kept from leaving their homes in some areas.

Roque said that under the guidelines for areas under ECQ: “Any person below 21 years old or those who are 60 years old and above, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks and pregnant women, including any person who resides with the aforementioned, shall be required to remain in their residences at all times, except when indispensable under the circumstances for obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices.”

Roque said this was among the results of the IATF meeting on Wednesday night, April 29.

“Sa mga lolo, lola: Hindi naman po kayo completely kulong pero uulitin ko po, sa pag-aaral, especially vulnerable po ang mga elderly. Puwede lang po kayong lumabas para kumuha ng essential goods and services o para magtrabaho sa mga pinapayagang industriya,” said Roque.

(To grandparents: You are not completely locked down but let me just repeat that according to studies, the elderly are especially vulnerable. You can only go out to get essential goods and services, or to work in allowed industries.)

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez also reiterated the clarification during the Laging Handa presser on Thursday morning.

“The senior citizens are not under house arrest. This is just a policy presented to us due to vulnerability of the age segment especially during the quarantine period,” Lopez said.

The trade chief said elderly people who are still actively working may go out of their homes.

“The senior citizens who are actively working, running businesses, are allowed to go to work. We will use the ID system,” said Lopez.

Speaking for the IATF, Lopez said elderly people are also allowed to go out of their homes if they need medical checkups and procedures. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.