Iloilo City council almost completely scrapped face mask mandate
ILOILO CITY — The Iloilo City Council on Wednesday stopped short of approving a proposed ordinance that would have completely suspended the mandatory wearing of face masks here.
The proposed ordinance, filed by City Councilor Ely Estante, was referred to the council’s Committee on Health for further study, review, and recommendation.
The committee referral was raised by fellow Councilor Alan Zaldivar, who echoed his other colleagues’ sentiments on the bill’s language.
Since the bill’s language does not specify that masks should be worn only in indoor and closed spaces, Councilor Romel Duron said the public might construe this to be a total suspension of the wearing of face masks in the city.
Estante said the term “public places” in the current ordinance should be understood to refer only to open public spaces.
This was rebuffed by Duron.
“[President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.] is only directing the voluntary wearing of face masks outdoors, while your ordinance refers to both outdoor and indoor, so you are now calling for total suspension. I just want to make it clear so that the public would understand,” Duron told Estante.
READ: Face mask use now voluntary outdoors but…
This was backed by Councilor Sedfrey Cabaluna, who suggested harmonizing the proposed ordinance with the President’s executive order.
“There’s a danger when we declare a suspension of the face mask ordinance, because the public will interpret that it’s no longer needed. The direction should be to harmonize with the national declaration,” Cabaluna said.
The proposed ordinance seeks to suspend City Regulation Ordinance No. 2020-061 which mandates the wearing of face masks in all public places within the city.
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