A proposal submitted by National Commission of Senior Citizens chairperson Franklin Quijano to relax restrictions on fully vaccinated senior citizens has been denied by Malacañang last week.
“I think it will depend on whether we will achieve population protection,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque. “More people should be given protection because the vaccine is not a guarantee that you will no longer catch Covid. It is a guarantee that you won’t have severe illness or you won’t die. But the condition of seniors is different.”
“So let us veer on the safer side while we do not have population protection yet,” he continued. “Until we have not vaccinated 70% of the population, our grandfathers and grandmothers should stay home for now.”
Previously, Quijano said that allowing fully dosed seniors out of their homes would not only help revive the economy but allow them to nurture their mental health.
Roque however clarified that the ban on senior citizens’ movement is not absolute. They are still permitted to leave their homes to buy essential needs like groceries and medicines, as well as to exercise.
Early last month, senior citizen rights advocate and lawyer Romulo Macalintal had pushed for special privileges for jabbed seniors amid quarantine protocols, such as attending mass gatherings, religious activities and dining out at restaurants.
However, one of the conditions of being allowed to do so should include presenting a copy of their duly-issued vaccination cards as proof, he added.
“Relaxing the quarantine rules for vaccinated SCs may also bolster the joint government and private sectors’ call to support the vaccination drive of the government,” Macalintal pointed out.