The National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) on Wednesday appealed for a two-hour window for senior citizens to buy their basic needs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a Laging Handa briefing, NCSC Chairperson Franklin Quijano said malls and stores were being disinfected every night and allowing senior citizens to shop would only expose them to a “very low” risk of infection.

“Ang dami po ng nagrereklamo dahil ang senior citizen ay hindi pinapasok sa mall, hindi pinapasok sa mga grocery areas and sometimes they cannot get their basic necessities,” he said.

“If the mornings will be given to the senior citizens, maski dalawang oras lang po, from 9 to 11 in the morning, when the store opens and up to 11; and then the general public can come in afterwards, that is really is so much gift that you can give the senior citizens,” he added.

A petition filed before the Supreme Court labeled the government’s movement restrictions on senior citizens “illegal and unconstitutional.”

This was shunned by Palace spokesman Harry Roque, saying the country’s guidelines were based on science and medicine.

“Ito pong pagbabawal sa inyong movement outside of your residence except for work and to procure necessities is for your own benefit. It is to protect your lives amidst the proven fact po na ang mga namamatay sa Covid-19, karamihan po, senior citizens,” he said in a Palace briefing last Sept. 29.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people in their 60s or 70s have a “higher risk for severe illness” than those in younger age brackets.

The greatest risk for severe illness from Covid-19 is among those aged 85 or older. John Ezekiel J. Hirro