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DTI Says 10-Year-Olds Should Be Allowed To Go Out For 'Family Bonding'
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  • The Philippines is allowing children as young as 10 years old to go out with their parents for "family bonding," the country's trade chief said Monday even as the nation guards against the spread of a more contagious COVID-19 virus variant.

    Allowing children to go out with their parents could boost the sales of commercial establishments such as restaurants and department stores, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said, noting that "family spending" can account for some 30% up to 50% of sales of such businesses.

    "Yung easing of age restriction, this is really more for family bonding," he said in a Palace press briefing.

    "Pag pamilya po ang lumalabas they account for 30% to 40% ng sales... Kaya napakaimportante na as a family payagan din po sila lumabas," he said.

    Starting Feb. 1, 10-year-olds in areas under MGCQ or the lowest quarantine will be allowed to leave their houses, the government's COVID-19 pandemic response task force announced last week.

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    The body eased the stay-at-home rule in MGCQ areas so that, "any person below ten (10) years old and those who are over sixty-five (65) years of age shall be required to remain in their residence at all times," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

    Previously, only those aged 15 to 65 can leave their homes for essentials. The window was narrower at the start of the quarantines last year, 21 to 59.

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    Health authorities discourage children from going out of their homes since they could be silent carriers of the virus.

    Responding to concerns over the easing of age-based restrictions, Lopez said what's important is that families strictly observe minimum health standards such as wearing face masks and face shields.

    "Ituloy natin 'yung gradual and safe easing of restrictions. Ang importante po ay hindi lumuluwag yung compliance sa health protocols," he said.

    If children can go to malls with their parents, why can't face-to-face classes resume? The health risks are higher since children in schools cannot be fully monitored by their guardians, said trade chief Lopez.

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    "Baka mas hindi maprotektahan and yung compliance sa minimum health protocol, baka mas mapanganib, mas delikado," Lopez said.

    This story originally appeared on Reportr.world. Minor edits have been made by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

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