Minors in Quezon City were banned from leaving their homes to keep them safe against COVID-19, the city's local government said Friday.
Those below 18 years old are prohibited from going to all public places, whether alone or accompanied by parent or guardian.
Public places include streets, highways, sidewalks, parking lots, vacant lots, and the common areas in and about churches, apartment, buildings, office buildings, hospitals, schools, malls or shopping centers, commercial establishments and places of entertainment such as movie theaters and similar places or establishments.
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Under the Quezon City Special Protection of Children against COVID-19 ordinance, children must stay at home 24 hours, 7 days a week.
“Ang Ordinansang ito ay batay sa rekomendasyon ng mga dalubhasa sa Philippine Pediatric Society na kailangang manatili ang mga menor-de-edad sa mga tahanan dahil malaki ang tsansa na sila’y mahawa,” Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
(This ordinance is based on the recommendation from experts from the Philippine Pediatric Society, that minors must stay in their homes since there is a high risk of them getting infected.)
The ordinance makes room for the following exceptions:
- If the minor is engaged in an authorized employment activity requiring physical presence, provided that they are accompanied by parent or guardian.
- Those seeking medical attention or with medical/dental appointments, provided that they are accompanied by parent or guardian.
- Those transiting for international or domestic air/sea travel as proved by pre-booked tickets, provided that they are accompanied by parent or guardian.
- In extreme case of need to buy/purchase essential goods, provided that no other person of legal age living with the minor can perform such duty.
- Those attending to, or in experience of, an emergency situation such as conflagration, earthquake, hospitalization, road accident, or any situation requiring immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life.
Parents or guardians of minor children who violate the ordinance will be fined P300 for the first offense, P500 for the second offense, and P1,000 for the third and subesequent offenses.
Minors who fail to follow the regulations will be turned over to the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children, where they will be required to undergo counseling before being turned over to their parent or guardian.
Apart from counseling, minors who face third and subsequent offenses will be subjected to intervention program of the Social Services and Development Department.
Owners, proprietors and managers of malls or shopping centers, commercial establishments, and places of entertainment who violate the ordinance will be fined P500 for the first offense.
A fine of P1,000 awaits business operators for the second offense, and will receive a warning for the revocation of business permit or license and closure of establishment.
For the third and subsequent offense, a fine of P3,000 must be paid, along with revocation of business permit or license and closure of establishment.