Oldies may go out; DILG spells rules

ANTI COVID WATCHDOGS coordinate strategies for non-entry of undocumented and uncoordinated stranded people and APORs. They include PNP director PCol Arnel Banzon, his deputy PCol Frank Villanueva, City Chief of police PLtCol Mark Gifter Sucalit, and City Health Officer Dr. Sarah Talla, and Mayor Felipe Remollo.

The DILG yesterday said older persons may go out of their residence and enter commercial establishments for work and essential activities under all community quarantine levels.

The freedom of movement of older persons should be respected even under community quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The memorandum circular was signed by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Aug.17. All local chief executives should ensure that the implementation of community quarantine and ordinances relative to this in their jurisdictions should respect the freedom of movement by the elderly amid COVID- 19.

There shall also no curfew on older persons in all quarantine levels.

Law enforcers, including the Philippine National Police, should ensure that this freedom is respected by all government personnel.

Frontliners manning checkpoints should also respect the mobility of senior citizens for allowed activities, including medical or humanitarian services.

Elders are also allowed to perform outdoor non-contact sports and other forms of exercise depending on the quarantine level, provided that they observe minimum health standards such as social distancing.

The DILG said that the Office for Senior Citizens Affair (OSCA) should urge local officials to respect and protect the rights of the older persons.

It should ensure that all local government personnel are oriented on the needs and varying situations of older persons in their areas.

The OSCA should provide the Office of the Mayor a database of older persons in its jurisdiction, including information on individual vulnerabilities and risk factors.

This database should include existence of comorbidities, disability and source of income. The office should also set up help desks to assist older persons in filing complaints and have a referral and coordination mechanism for such.

There should be proactive monitoring of older persons at risk for violence and abuse, and any incident should be reported to the authorities.

The DILG noted that the OSCA should be represented in all meetings and activities pertaining to logistics and resources in the local COVID-19 task force. (By Romina Cabrera PStar)