TV host Boy Abunda opposed the plan of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to disallow senior citizens to go out of their houses amid the general community quarantine (GCQ) being enforced in some provinces in the country.
In an interview with Pep.ph, Abunda said that IATF should study the said proposal carefully as many senior citizens are still working like him.
According to him, the said proposal is discriminatory because it forced the senior citizens who wanted to be productive to stay at home.
“They’re marginalizing a big part of the population, lalo na yung 60 to 65 years old,” sabi niya. Maganda yung intent ng panukala, pero ang pananaw ko, there’s a big chunk of healthy seniors. And nalaman natin in the past months that COVID-19 just doesn’t attack seniors, although vulnerable sila. Pero kung titingnan mo ang data ay walang piniling edad,” Abunda said.
Abunda pointed out that most of the high-ranking officials in the government are senior citizens and even the President of the country, Rodrigo Roa Duterte is already 75-years-old.
The TV host also called the proposal ‘discriminatory’.
“A lot of the first and second layers of offices or government agencies are seniors. And these are people who have to move around to be able to implement programs and policies. Sa mga industriya rin, private industries, marami rin. To me, it’s discriminatory to a certain point.” he said.
Abunda also said that while the real intention of the IATF is s to protect the senior citizens in the country, the host said that the government possibly hasten the creation of the proposal.
“You have to also remember na most of these decisions are made really quickly. It is our responsibility to react, to respond, and to engage people in healthy conversations,” the TV host stated.
“This is not the time also to be divided. This is not also a time to quarrel. I don’t think we should get there. Yung may disagreement tayo, pag-usapan nating mabuti. Pero ako, halimbawa, in normal times, it’s really discriminatory. It’s marginalizing healthy seniors,” he added.
Meanwhile, IATF clarified that working senior citizens are allowed to go out.
“The operating guidelines are to be issued. Of course, the seniors who are actively working or running businesses will be allowed. We will use ID system,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement