By Rjhay E. Laurea
MANILA — The Quezon City (QC) government will establish Child-Friendly Safe Zones for minors five years old and above after Malacañang announced children can now go outdoors in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque recently made the announcement that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-IED) has eased restrictions on the movement of children.
“The Inter-Agency Task on Thursday, July 8, 2021, allowed children, ages 5 and above, under the risk classification of Modified General Community Quarantine and General Community Quarantine, except those under heightened restrictions, to go to outdoor areas,” he said.
Mayor Joy Belmonte, on the same day, immediately issued the guidelines that will set the establishment of these child-friendly zones in accordance with the protocols IATF-IED.
Section 4.16 of the IATF Omnibus Guidelines on Community Quarantine with amendments dated May 6, 2021, recommended that minors may now be allowed to engage in outdoor sports and non-contact exercise.
United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Philippines strongly urges the local government units to allow children to play and conduct sports and exercise in outdoor areas, to promote their physical and mental well-being during the pandemic.
“In this regard, the City hereby issues this Child-Friendly Safe Zone Guidelines, which shall take effect immediately,” Mayor Belmonte said in a memorandum sent to all departments of the city government.
A “Child-Friendly Safe Zone” is an open park, playground, or a similar location designated by the QC Parks Development and Administration Department (PDAD); or an outdoor activity area, swimming pool, tourist site, al fresco dining, or other open-air areas in malls, or other commercial establishments designated by QC Business Permit and Licensing Department (BPLD).
Both PDAD and/or BPLD, shall coordinate with other member departments of the City’s Incident Command System (ICS) – Law and Order Cluster.
However, the children must be accompanied by a fully-vaccinated adult when they go out of their homes. They must show their vaccination cards and a valid government ID.
Even if they are in a “Child-Friendly Safe Zone”, groups of more than 10 people are still prohibited.
Parks or other similar suitable outdoor locations may apply via Email for approval as a “Child-Friendly Safe Zone” with PDAD through PDAD@quezoncity.gov.ph.
On the other hand, malls and other commercial establishments with open-air locations may apply for approval with BPLD through admin.BPLD@quezoncity.gov.ph. (ai/mtvn)