Senior citizens (60 years old and above) who are still working as well as those living alone will be allowed to go out in areas classified under general community quarantine (GCQ) starting May 1, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“May senior citizens na active, mga nagtratrabaho, yung mga tinatawag nating namamahala sa mga malalaking kumpanya, mga executives, bibigyan natin sila ng exemption. Pagka linya sa trabaho, pwede silang lumabas,” said DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a radio interview.
“Yun naman seniors na walang kasamang mas nakababata, they’re just living alone, mga retired, pwede rin silang lumabas para makabili ng pagkain or anumang bagay na kailangan nila,” he added.
Under GCQ regulations, selected businesses are allowed to partially operate, excluding businesses involved in leisure and entertainment.
“Alam natin na vulnerable sector itong senior citizens. Ayon sa analytics, kapag tinamaan yung mga senior citizens, almost 80% ay namamatay. Kaya napaka delikado, kailangan alagaan natin sila,” Año said.
“Pero yung mga wala namang dahilan, may mga kasama naman sila, please naman ‘wag na kayong lalabas kasi hindi talaga biro itong COVID,” he added.
Several groups and lawmakers criticized the guidelines that barred senior citizens from going out of their homes with the easing of quarantine measures in “low-risk” areas.
Earlier, Año said senior citizens living alone should get their own quarantine pass to buy their basic needs.