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DTI backs easing of age restrictions for economic recovery

DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez expressed support for the gradual easing of age restrictions possibly down to 10 years old to help the economic recovery of the country.

Lopez agreed with the call of Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua to let more children and families out of their homes to shop and spend while still observing safety protocols.

Lopez expressed confidence that 10-year-old children will comply with minimum health standards like wearing face masks and face shields when stepping outside of their homes.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases only allows persons aged 15 to 65 to go out of their homes.

The task force gave local government units the authority to adjust the age limit depending on the COVID-19 situation in their respective jurisdictions. Despite many sectors reopening since June last year, Lopez said age restrictions have dampened the demand for these businesses.

“If we want to restore and recover the economy, we need to gradually ease the age restrictions,” Lopez said. Earlier, Chua said community quarantines have “restricted economic activity from children and families.”

Based on their consultations with malls and fastfood chains, some 32 to 50 percent of their sales are driven by family consumption as opposed to individual or worker consumption.