Cebu City

DILG: Optional wearing of face masks in Cebu City ‘on hold’

Dwight de Leon
DILG: Optional wearing of face masks in Cebu City ‘on hold’

IN-CHARGE OF LGUS. Interior chief Benhur Abalos speaks in a press conference on July 21, 2022.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

Interior chief Benhur Abalos says Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama agreed to wait for the country's COVID-19 task force to deliberate on the matter

MANILA, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama agreed to defer the implementation of his order that makes face mask-wearing in the city optional, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Thursday, September 1.

“Mayor Mike agreed to temporarily put this executive order on hold by virtue of my commitment to bring the matter to the Interagency Task Force for deliberation,” DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos announced in a statement.

DILG: Optional wearing of face masks in Cebu City ‘on hold’

“In fact, I am going to even further suggest to make Cebu City the pilot implementer of this measure since the city has always been first in espousing non-masking policies outdoors for the ease and benefit of its people amid the pandemic,” he added.

Executive Order No. 5, which Rama signed on Wednesday, August 31, revoked the long-standing coronavirus-driven policy on the mandatory wearing of face masks in indoor and outdoor public spaces.

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Rama makes masks optional in Cebu City

Rama makes masks optional in Cebu City

He had cited the city’s successful vaccination drive and low number of COVID-19 cases for making the move. He had also informed Abalos about the order before he signed it, Rama had said.

Department of Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire had said that the Cebu City government did not consult her agency, and insisted that “one particular place cannot be implementing its own protocol, while the rest of the country is implementing another protocol because we have porous borders.”

Cebu City has 318 active COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, according to the DOH website. – Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers local government units and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.