Stepping up its campaign to keep minors off the streets amid the pandemic, the Quezon City government has rescued 340 minors spotted in public places and shut down several establishments for allowing the entry of people below 18 years old.

“Seryoso ang lungsod sa pagpapatupad ng patakarang ito upang mapanatiling ligtas ang ating mga kabataan sa virus,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte.

“Isantabi muna natin ang pagiging matigas ang ulo dahil naririyan pa rin ang panganib na dulot ng pandemya, na posibleng lumala lalo ngayong maraming tao ang lumalabas dahil sa kapaskuhan ,” she added.

Belmonte recently approved an ordinance banning minors in all public places, whether alone or accompanied by parent or guardian, without any justification, to stop the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a report by action officer Rannie Ludovica of the Quezon City Task Force Disiplina, they have “rescued” 340 minors in a massive operation together with the Quezon City Police District’s District Mobile Force Battalion to monitor the presence of minors in public places.

The Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD), for its part, ordered the temporary closure of several tiangges in Robinsons Novaliches for accepting minors.

According to Ludovica, all rescued minors were brought to Centris Command post for the profiling of their parents while some were turned over to their respective barangays for counseling of Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC).

The Task Force also issued Ordinance Violation Receipts (OVR) to parents or guardians of rescued minors, as mandated by Ordinance No. SP-2985, S-2020, or the “Quezon City Special Protection of Children against COVID-19.”

“Ipinapaliwanag namin sa kanila na dahil malakas ang bata, maaaring wala silang symptoms pero carrier sila ng sakit. Kapag lumabas sila at pumunta in public places, puwede na sila maging superspreader at ito ang iniiwasan nating mangyari,” Ludovica stressed.

Ludovica added that parents must be aware of their children’s whereabouts at all time and not use them as excuse to escape punishment.

“We are closely monitoring malls and tiangges na bukas ngayong holiday dahil patok itong puntahan ng mga kabataan,” said Ludovica.

Likewise, citizens are encouraged to report minors and parents violating the ordinance through the complaint-reporting platform, QCitizen Watch on the Official QC website