To raise consumer confidence, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) focuses on improving the compliance of business establishments with minimum health protocols.
To encourage families to go out with their children, the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) had lowered it to 10 years old. The DTI respects the decision of President Duterte’s to raise the age restriction back to 15 years old, said Trade Secretary, Ramon M. Lopez.
“We heard the decision of the President last night to revert from 10 years old to 15 years old the minimum age restriction, so it’s back to status quo allowed persons outside of the residence of 15 to 65 years old,” Lopez said in a text message to reporters.
The IATF considered the proposal of the state economists to bring down the age restriction to 10 years old in areas under modified general community quarantine, in hopes that it may improve the economic activity in commercial areas.
However, President Duterte recalled the policy on concerns that the UK COVID-19 variant may spread and infect the children. According to Lopez, before relaxing the quarantine rules, the President directed the economic managers and the IATF to research the new variant of the virus.
He also mentioned that the President was being wary just in case a new surge of cases may take place when more people start to leave their houses.
Lopez stated, “He asks us to study further the new variant because it might spread and the blame might be put on the easing of age restriction.”
He added, “so better to observe further the new variant, and it might be safer to adjust once we can control the spread of the new variant. Better to err on the side of caution."
The trade chief said the DTI will monitor the private firms intensely as to their compliance with minimum health protocols.
He added, when buyers know they have been following the regulations set by the government, they will be encouraged to go out and purchase from physical stores. These rules include checking of temperature at the entrance, maintaining a contact tracing file, as well as sanitizing the space every hour.