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Payagan magpapawis: NCR mayors urged to reconsider ban on outdoor exercise

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By Billy Begas

Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor on Wednesday tagged as “unreasonable” the decision of Metro Manila mayors to ban outdoor exercises during the two-week Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Defensor said the prohibition has “no rhyme or reason or science.”

“It is uncalled for and unreasonable. People, including the elderly, need to exercise even under the strictest of lockdowns because exercise boosts a person’s immunity against sickness,” Defensor said.

Defensor pointed out that even the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against COVID-19 has allowed certain outdoor exercise activities like walking, jogging and biking during the ECQ provided they are done within the vicinity or the barangay.

“The task force recognizes the need for people to exercise within the immediate vicinity of their residences or inside their subdivisions for their own physical and mental health, provided they do not congregate, they do it alone or with others in small groups, and they observe basic health protocols. In fact, that is their right, which our mayors should not take way from them,” Defensor added.

He also pointed out that those infected by COVID-19 cannot go out and exercise based on testimonies of those who recovered from the virus.

“This means that persons who can do walking, jogging or biking are most likely healthy citizens. They are not the virus, they are not carriers and they are not spreaders. The mayors have aimed at the wrong target. That is the problem with our pandemic response,” he said.

Based on the resolution approved by Metro Manila mayors, Defensor said even San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora, who is a biker, would be prohibited from biking around the his residence in affluent Greenhills subdivision.

Defensor called on the IATF to insist on allowing walking, jogging, biking, and similar outdoor physical exertion provided that it is done alone or in small groups within the limits of their subdivisions or streets, and they observe health protocols.