Cortes to consult Local Health Board on Gwen’s face mask policy
MANDAUE CITY, Philippines- Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes will convene members of the Local Health Board next week to discuss Governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s policy on the optional wearing of face masks in open spaces.
Cortes said he does not have a problem with Garcia’s Executive Order on the rationalized wearing of face masks especially since the COVID-19 cases here have already decreased. However, he wanted to first consult the local health board on the matter.
“Mopahibaw mi kung unsa gyud atoang stand sa dakbayan sa Mandaue,” said Cortes.
Garcia signed Executive Order No. 16 which mandates the optional wearing of face masks in open spaces. The Cebu Provincial Board also unanimously passed an ordinance on the optional wearing of face masks.
However, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the national government does not recognize the ordinance, reiterating that it was defective and lacks legal basis.
On Thursday, Año said he is giving the Cebu provincial government three days to amend the ordinance.
Cortes said the local chief executives know more about the situation on the ground.
He added that Cebu province and the highly urbanized cities here defer in their COVID-19 situations.
With this in mind, Cortes said, he wanted to consult the Local Health Board before making an official stand on the Governor’s EO.
Mandaue City, he said, has a face mask ordinance that remains in effect.
Ordinance No. 15 -2020-1531 penalizes those who are caught not wearing face masks in public places. They are asked to pay a fine of P5,000.
Cortes said he will also speak with his counterparts in the cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu since the tri-cities have a reciprocity agreement.
Earlier, Atty. Joel Seno, head of the Mandaue City’ Council’s committee on laws, said the ordinance was not strictly implemented. Apprehension were discouraged. Instead of imposing fines, violators are educated and given a face mask.
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