Palace denies flip-flopping on Duterte’s decision to recall easing age restrictions

 By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Rappler

Malacañang said Tuesday that President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to recall the recommendation to allow children below 15 years old to go outside their homes in areas under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) may not be a flip-flopping in policies intended to curb the infections due to coronavirus pandemic.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque disavowed the government was waffling, saying it was not the first time Duterte rejected the proposal made by the country’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

“Hindi naman po tayo nag-uurong-sulong because I know, this is the first time na, hindi, second time na ni-revoke ni Presidente ang rekomendasyon,” he said during his regular televised online press briefing.

“I don’t think so, kasi IATF was created by the President to assist as a recommendatory body. In fact, the IATF has no legislative foundation other than exercise of executive power,” Roque further said.

Last December, Duterte also recalled his approval over proposal to conduct of limited face-to-face learning amid cases of new coronavirus variant which is believed to be more infectious.

“Ngayon naman po, itong namang 10 to 14 dahil din po sa new variant. So sa tingin ko naman po, maiintindihan ng taumbayan kung bakit ganito ang desisyon ni President because we don’t know enough about this new variant,” Roque added.

In his weekly Talk to The People, the president said children with 10 to 14 years of age should stay at own homes in a bid to avoid contact with new variant hat already detected in some parts of the country.

To date, the Philippines reported 17 individuals who got infected with UK coronavirus variant.

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