Cebu City temporarily suspends rule on optional face mask use — DILG | Inquirer News

Cebu City temporarily suspends rule on optional face mask use — DILG

By: - Reporter / @BPinlacINQ
/ 11:34 AM September 01, 2022

Cebu City face mask use

TO WEAR OR NOT TO WEAR Residents of Cebu City still wear masks as they walk through Katipunan Street on Wednesday. But this may change after Mayor Michael Rama issued on the same day an order lifting the mask mandate in public areas in Cebu City. —NESTLE SEMILLA

MANILA, Philippines — Cebu City has agreed to temporarily suspend its rule on the optional use of face masks, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.

DILG  Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. revealed this on Thursday after speaking with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama about the latter’s earlier issued Executive Order No. 5, which makes the use of face masks optional in the city.


READ: Rama signs EO making use of face masks non obligatory in the City


“[M]ayor Mike agreed to temporarily put this Executive Order on hold by virtue of my commitment to bring the matter to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for deliberation,” he said in a statement.

Abalos then raised the suggestion “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.”

Despite the deferral of the non-obligatory face mask use order in Cebu City, Abalos aired an appeal for all local chief executives to similarly adopt this measure once it is green-lighted by the IATF.

“I have already requested the IATF Secretariat to immediately convene in order to thoroughly discuss this measure. Be assured that I, and the whole of DILG, will support its implementation as soon as this initiative gains the concurrence of the experts and policy-makers of the IATF,” he added.

The Department of Health has called out Cebu City’s optional face mask policy, noting that it was not consulted about this decision prior to the issuance of the executive order.

READ: Cebu City gov’t did not consult DOH on ‘non obligatory’ face mask use – official


The DOH recommended that wearing face masks remain enforced until the end of 2022 as it noted that the population’s wall of immunity must first rise before the government can allow for such practice to be optional.

Last June, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia signed an executive order lifting the requirement to wear face masks outdoors – a directive initially frowned upon by the DILG.

This was later resolved when both the DILG and the Cebu provincial government reached a compromise on the issue, concurring that the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) must first be issued before the ordinance could take effect.


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TAGS: Cebu City, Face Masks

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