Moreno dares Palace to bring Manila order vs face shield mandate to court

By: Christia Marie Ramos - Reporter - | November 09,2021 - 03:01 PM
isko Moreno

Presidential aspirant and Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno

MANILA, Philippines — The order of Manila City to drop the mandatory use of face shields in public spaces will stay despite opposition from Malacañang, Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said, adding that the Palace can bring it to court if “they’re not happy” with it.

“Yes, we will [still implement the order], because under existing laws, we are empowered to protect the interest of our people,” Moreno said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel when asked if the city government will stick to the order should Malacañang continue to insist that it is “null and void.”

“If they’re not happy, they can go to court and ask for declaratory relief, I don’t want to teach them what to do,” he added.

Moreno said that as local chief executive, he has to protect the interest of his people. “In this case, without science arguing with our decision, my decision will stay,” he further said.

On Monday, Moreno issued Executive Order (EO) No. 42 declaring the use of face shields as “non-mandatory” in the nation’s capital city except in hospital settings and medical facilities.

But presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the order is “null and void” since the national policy still calls for the mandatory use of face shields.

Roque also reminded local government units, specifically mayors, that they are under the control and supervision of the President, thus must follow the chain of command.

But Moreno said the President only has supervision of local governments.

“It’s very clear under Section 16 of the Local Government Code, the power is vested to the local chief executive with regard to the general welfare of our people. Yung [The] control and supervision na sinasabi niya [he is referring to] are two different matters,” the mayor said.

“He (President) has control over the secretaries and the militaries but supervision for the local government,” he added.

But Moreno clarified that his order is not a form of defiance but “just a practice of power within our territorial jurisdiction as stated and mandated by law.”

“The President, he is a lawyer, he will agree — he used to be a mayor — he has no control over the mayor. He has that power of supervision under the Local Government Code,” he said.

“Local autonomy is written in our Constitution,” Moreno added.

In issuing the executive order, Moreno noted that Metro Manila was already downgraded to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 since November 5, meaning it has low and decreasing COVID-19 case transmission, low healthcare utilization rate, or low or decreasing case counts but total bed and intensive care utilization rates are increasing.

He reiterated that requiring the use of face shields is an additional financial burden to Filipinos and can even cause accidents.

“Maraming mga matatanda ang nadadapa, maraming mga may hika ang nahihirapan huminga. Marami nang mga naaksidente,” he said.

(Many elderly people trip while wearing their face shield, those who have lung conditions find it hard to breathe. There have been many accidents.)

“At higit sa lahat gastos nang gastos ito. P10 ito nang P10. Araw-araw. Let’s just be honest with regular people. P10 araw-araw, P300 isang uwan. Ang pinakamasarap na bigas P60. Limang kilong bigas yang ninanakaw or nawawala sa tao. Pahirap sa tao, buti sana kung may science o may basis,” he added.

(And most of all, people spend on it every day. P10 every day. Let’s just be honest with regular people. If they spend P10 every day for these shields, that would amount to P300 per month. The most decent rice on the market costs P60 per kilogram. Buying face shields will cost our people five kilograms of rice. This is a burden to our people, but is there science or basis behind this?)

Further, he said the disposal of face shields, which are made of plastic, negatively affects the environment.

“Yung basurang naidudulot nito sa kapaligiran, plastic ito [The waste this produces, these are plastic],” he said.

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TAGS: COVID-19, EO No. 42, Executive Order (EO) No. 42, face shields, Harry Roque, Isko Moreno, Malacañang, Manila City, President Duterte

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