Some senators back Gwen’s EO on wearing of face masks
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Several senators here backed the decision of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to scrap the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors.
Sen. Koko Pimentel, in an interview with Manila-based dzBB, has expressed support for Garcia’s latest Executive Order (EO) that makes face masks an option only in well-ventilated areas.
An excerpt of his interview was also published on his official social media handles.
“Encourage wearing of mask, ipaalala sa mga tao na magsuot nito indoors pero sa labas na may fresh air, may circulation ng hangin, sana payagan nang maging optional ang pagsusuot ng face mask,” Pimentel said.
(Encourage the wearing of mask, remind the public to wear this indoors but outdoors where there is fresh air, circulation of air, I hope that they will allow making the wearing of face mask optional.)
Aside from Pimentel, newly elected Senator Robin Padilla also approved of Garcia’s recent orders even if they go against existing national policies of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID or IATF).
He even likened the governor to that of a prime minister.
On Monday, Garcia told reporters in Metro Manila that EO No. 16 will stay despite pressure from national agencies such as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Garcia, in her EO, has stated that it is time for Cebu province to rationalize the mandatory wearing of face masks, a primary anti-COVID measure that has been in place for two years.
While face masks are now only optional for outdoors and other well-ventilated areas in Cebu, it is still required in indoor and poorly ventilated settings.
The three independent cities of Cebu — Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu — for their part, did not follow Garcia’s recent orders.
Top officials from these cities pointed out that, unlike Cebu province, most people would converge in their cities since they were the heart of the island’s economic and commercial activities.
Cebu remains under Alert Level 2 until June 15. | with reports from INQUIRER.net
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