Following the President’s declaration of class suspension in the entire Metro Manila from today until March 14, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed all Metro Manila Mayors and their respective punong barangays as well as the Philippine National Police (PNP) to keep all students away from malls, movie houses, public markets and other crowded places to stop and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the communities.
According to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, President Rodrigo Duterte has directed all local officials in National Capital Region as well as PNP to “ensure that no children are loitering around.” “If they are seen, they are to be immediately sent home to do their homework,” he says.
He explained that if the students will be allowed by their parents and by the government to go to public places, it will defeat the very purpose of the class suspension which is preemptive social distancing to slow down the spread of the virus.
“Our police officers and the barangay officials will serve as truant officers to ensure that kids stay at home. I have also directed all our Metro Manila Mayors to personally direct their respective Chiefs of Police to implement the presidential directive so that Local Governments and the police will jointly implement this policy of the government,” he said.
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“We have no choice but to undertake these measures because public health demands it. Together with sustained hygiene (like regular handwashing, coughing etiquette, thermoscans and face masks), suspensions of classes and mass gathering will enable us to defeat this virus faster,” he said.
Places where students are barred from are malls, public markets, movie houses, and other crowded places. The DILG didn’t indicate the period of the implementation of the said ordinance.