‘Common ordinance’ on face mask-wearing policy in metro mulled
MANILA, Philippines — Malacanang on Thursday said the national government is now coordinating with Metro Manila mayors to pass a resolution for the issuance of a “common ordinance” to institutionalize the policy on face mask wearing in public.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, in a televised press briefing, said the proposal gained traction during the last Cabinet meeting with Metro Manila mayors.
“Doon sa huling pagpupulong po ng ilang mga miyembro ng gabinete sa mga Metro Manila mayors, minungkahi na po na magkaroon ng common ordinance para po magpataw ng parusa sa mga taong hindi nagsusuot ng mask sa mga pampublikong lugar,” he said.
(During the last meeting of some Cabinet members to Metro Manila mayors, there was a proposal to have a common ordinance for penalties to those who are not wearing face masks in public.)
Meanwhile, Roque insisted that health protocols such as mask-wearing must be thoroughly enforced, and that the public need only explain to authorities if they are questioned why they briefly removed their face masks.
Roque said that rules must be implemented based on “human experience,” such as drinking or eating that would require the removal of one’s face mask.
“Bagama’t may mga rules, it must be implemented pursuant to human experience (While there are rules, it must be implemented pursuant to human experience),” he said.
“Alam niyo po ang pag-inom talagang kinakailangan ng taumbayan. Siguro naman po, explain lang natin sa mga pumupuna na ang ginagawa lang natin ay tinanggal lang natin ang mask para uminom. Wala naman pong problema yun ‘pag na-explain,” he added.
(Drinking water is essential for the people. Maybe we could just explain to the authorities that we just removed our mask to drink. There’s no problem if that is explained.)
Roque issued the statement after journalist Howie Severino was apprehended in Quezon City for putting down his face mask to sip water.
Severino, a COVID-19 survivor, was brought to Amoranto Stadium for a “seminar” on the coronavirus before he was allowed to go home.
“Tingin ko naman ‘yang insidenteng ‘yan nakita naman nila dinala lang sila sa isang seminar so talagang mahigpit ang pagpapatupad sa Quezon City pero dahil nangunguna nga sa Metro Manila ang Quezon City,” Roque said.
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