Cebu guv agrees to wait for IRR before optional mask rule, says DILG
MANILA, Philippines — After a “fruitful and productive” dialogue with the Cebu government, the Department of Interior and Local Government is now waiting for the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the optional usage of face mask outdoors, the agency’s spokesperson said on Friday.
DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, in a text message to INQUIRER.net, said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año is just now awaiting the issuance of the IRR of Cebu Ordinance No. 2022-03, following his dialogue with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
“The meetings between our DILG Regional Director and Governor Gwen Garcia have been fruitful and productive,” Malaya said.
“Secretary Año and Gov Garcia have also discussed the matter over the phone and noted that Cebu Ordinance No. 2022-03 in Section 4 requires the Provincial Governor to issue the necessary implementing rules and regulations prior to its enforcement. Therefore, this Department will just await the issuance of said IRR,” Malaya added.
Malaya also thanked Garcia and the Cebu government for the development.
On June 9, Garcia issued Executive Order No. 16, making the wearing of face masks and open spaces not mandatory. The Cebu provincial board adopted it into an ordinance on June 14.
The DILG did not recognize the local government’s legislative actions, which said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) rule on face masks is still in effect in Cebu province.
The IATF guidelines only allow for specific instances when masks can be taken off, such as when eating or certain well-ventilated sports and activities.
The executive order also went against outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements that the mandatory wearing of face masks would stay until the end of his term.
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