DILG: Students banned in malls, market and public places following class suspension

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has issued a directive restricting students from loitering and visiting malls, markets and public places.

Students not allowed to loiter in public places
Students not allowed to loiter in public places | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Manila PIO

Following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to suspend classes of the entire Metro Manila in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, officials and barangay officers, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will keep students away from crowded and public places.

Under the ordinance, students who are caught loitering will be sent home immediately.

DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said, "The President has directed all local officials in NCR from Mayor down to Punong Barangays as well as all units of the Philippine National Police to ensure that no children are seen loitering around and, if they are seen, they are to be immediately sent home to do their homework."

Año added they have sought the assistance of the Department of Education (DepEd) to keep the students busy with homework while at home. They are also asking the cooperation of parents to be vigilant and monitor their children.

The official explained that allowing the students to loiter around would only defeat the purpose of the class suspension which was aimed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

"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.

Año said these measures are part of their efforts to ensure the safety of the public. Mass gatherings have also been suspended around NCR as a preemptive social distancing measure.

DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya also remarked that all these measures were recommended by the Department of Health (DOH) Expert Advisory Group and approved by the President.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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