DILG ‘not recognizing’ Garcia’s EO on face masks
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it does not recognize the executive order issued by Cebu Provincial Governor Gwen Garcia on ditching the use of face mask when outdoors.
In a statement the DILG released on social media on Friday, June 10, 2022, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the use of face masks except under circumstances defined by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the current IATF protocols allow only for “specific instances” when masks can be taken off.
“This Department does not recognize the Executive Order issued by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia because we have the IATF Guidelines approved by the President. The Philippine National Police will continue to confront, apprehend, and arrest, if necessary, all violators of IATF Guidelines and MPHS in the Province of Cebu.” part of the statement read.
Garcia issued Executive Order (EO) No. 16, dated June 8, 2022, ‘Rationalizing the Wearing of Face Masks within Cebu.’ The governor said that as a necessary step towards the new normal, there is a need to rationalize the requirement on wearing of masks.
But the DILG emphasized that adherence to the imposed and approved health protocols is a vital key in defeating the current pandemic.
“Wearing of face masks, together with vaccination and boosters have helped keep our COVID-19 case counts low despite the detection of new subvariants. Scientific evidence worldwide proves that the use of face masks reduces the transmission not only of COVID-19, but also other infectious diseases and respiratory diseases including Monkeypox, should it reach our country,” Año said in the same statement.
The DILG then continued to urge those who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 to be inoculated as soon as they can.
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