Violators of the curfew implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic are apprehended by city officials in Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, Philippines, March 24, 2020 | OSCAR TAGUMPAY / MUNTINLUPA CITY GOVERNMENT

President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet has approved the gradual easing of quarantine restrictions to allow more people to go outside their homes to help revive the economy, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the Cabinet did not specify the age group to be allowed but the recommendation it approved listed those aged 15 to 65 as an example.

Previously, those aged below 21 and above 60 were banned from leaving their areas of residency, along with pregnant women and those with health risks.

“Iyong sa age group, ang recommendation po ay gradual expansion of the age group allowed to go out. Nakasulat kasi dito ‘e.g.’ eh, 15 to 65. So it is now approved ‘no, it is approved because it was a recommendation approved by the entire Cabinet,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

The Cabinet also approved shorter curfew hours and allow multiple work shifts to help workers gain employment, but Roque did not elaborate on these.

Since the Cabinet as a whole approved the recommendation, Roque said the move no longer required backing from the inter-agency task force for Covid-19 response.

However, the approved measures will only take effect once published in the Official Gazette.

Roque expressed optimism that Filipinos would continue adhering to government health standards despite eased lockdown restrictions. “Tingin ko after six or seven months of lockdown, alam na natin ang gagawin – mask, iwas, hugas,” he said.

The Philippines has recorded 344,713 Covid-19 cases as of Oct. 13. John Ezekiel J. Hirro