Bohol EO allows elderly, minors to go out on certain days   

CORTES, Bohol, May 2 (PIA) -- Finally, for the first time after a month and a half, senior citizens and minors or those below 20 years old may now be able to go out of home quarantine (HQ) on certain days starting Monday, May 4, 2020, but only for important reasons.

Executive Order No 28, which Gov. Arthur Yap signed April 29, made sure of this as this officially amends an earlier policy in Executive Order No. 16, which in itself has also been amended a few days after it came out on March 21, 2020.

Executive Order No. 16 imposes a 24-hour curfew on all Bohol residents aged 65 years old and above and those below 18 years old, mandating them to stay at home to shield them from the effects of COVID-19. 

Studies relating to the corona virus have proved that the elderly as well as minors have a high susceptibility to catching the virus: the elderly often succumbing to the disease and the minors for their capacity to spread the virus as carriers.

However, a few days after Executive Order No. 16 came out, authorities noted that farmers, several of them over 65 years old and minors below 18, are actively engaged in farming or fishing, and the move to strictly detain them in their houses would put a dent on the province’s food production.

Because of this, Executive Order 16-A was issued to exempt from home quarantine those who are 65 years old and above as well as those aged 18 yeas and below who are actively engaged in farming or fishing.

While the executive orders are implemented, several elderly persons have appealed to authorities to let them go out for certain important functions.

Reports gathered showed that several senior citizens need to do bank appearances which require their physical appearance, and a good number of senior citizens trying to extend the purchasing power of their little pension in the discounts allotted for them in groceries, which also need personal appearances.

Still a lot more senior citizens said they have remained strong because they never fail to do daily exercises, mostly by walking, which unfortunately stopped with the province-wide curfew order.

For these, Section 3 of Executive Order No. 28 proposes yet another amendment to Executive Order No. 16 and 16-A.

The modification states that all senior citizens aged 65 years old and above shall be allowed to go out on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

For minors, the order says they will be allowed to go out on Mondays and Fridays from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but they have to be accompanied by their parents or legal guardians.

The order also explicitly said parents or guardians accompanying minors when going out must not be 65 years old and above.

Moreover, the Executive Order said in no case shall persons aged 65 years old and above, as well as minors, be allowed on Saturdays and Sundays.

The privilege, however, is only until May 31, or otherwise when the order is rescinded before that date. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)    

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