List of approved outdoor locations in Metro Manila for children

It’s been over a year since children have been able to move around freely in the metro. Thankfully, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) released new guidelines on 8 July allowing kids as young as 5 to visit outdoor sites in MGCQ and GCQ areas, including cities and townships in Metro Manila.

In response to this, the 17 local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila are to release a list of specific child-friendly places in the area during the pandemic. They are expected to make their lists public within 2 to 3 days.

Adult supervision needed

approved locations for kids - maria rosario vergeireHealth Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire announcing the new measures
Image adapted from: PTV

In a public press briefing held on 9 July, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that a parent or a caregiver must be present to supervise their children in case they interact with other kids in public areas. Adults must ensure that children are wearing face masks and practicing physical distancing at all times.

The IATF also emphasized that adult supervision is still needed for individuals below 18 years old, citing instances of teenagers roaming around by themselves.

Children still banned from entering malls

approved locations for kids - venice grand canal mallVenice Grand Canal Mall. Image for illustration purposes only.
Image adapted from: @saisammm_

While children from Metro Manila will be allowed to enjoy the outdoors again, they are still banned from entering malls. This applies even when the establishment has indoor-outdoor facilities.

Besides this, children are prohibited from going to other highly crowded, public places. Children also cannot go to “areas outside their family bubble” or areas where immediate family members don’t reside, according to the IATF.

The reasons for the new guidelines

approved locations for kids mayor marcy teodoro
Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro
Image credit: Marikina PIO

According to Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro, as quoted in a CNN Philippines report, this move by the IATF aims to address children’s mental health in lieu with the current pandemic situation.

As for the upcoming lists of places approved for children to visit by Metro Manila LGUs, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos said it is to inform adults living in Metro Manila where their children or wards can go. A list of specific places will also prevent overcrowding which may result in a rise in COVID-19 cases, said the MMDA chairperson. 

Get updates on LGU-approved, child-friendly outdoor locations

Metro Manila mayors are currently determining the playgrounds, parks, and al fresco dining spots in their localities that children can enjoy safely amidst the pandemic, according to the CNN Philippines report. So far, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has approved parks under the Quezon City Parks Development Administration as some of these designated safe zones.

To stay updated on the areas where children are allowed in the metro, be sure to follow the Metro Manila local government units’ Facebook pages:

Las Piñas
Quezon City
San Juan

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Cover image adapted from: @jody_boinkz and @phparksandbiodiversity

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