Rama signs EO making use of face masks non obligatory in the City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City government is giving its constituents the discretion whether to still wear their face masks or not in open spaces, except for those inside hospitals and those with flu-like symptoms.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama signed on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, Executive Order (EO) no. 5 series 2022 or “An order declaring the use of face mask within the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Cebu as non-obligatory, but a measure of individual self-preservation and protection.”
Under the EO, the wearing of a face mask in open spaces is no longer required starting Thursday, September 1, 2022.
The EO also granted administrators and operators of buildings, establishments, and businesses the discretion whether to still require the use of face mask inside their premises or not.
“The use and wearing of face mask is hereby declared as non-obligatory within the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Cebu. Instead, the wearing of face mask should be individually taken by all citizens, as a measure of self-preservation and protection under the principle of shared responsibility and mutual respect,” reads a portion of the EO.
The EO, however, also contained certain exemptions. For instance, the use of face masks while inside clinics, hospitals, diagnostic centers, and other healthcare facilities “remains to be mandatory” subject to the policy of the said entities and or the discretion of its administrator.
Moreover, the use of face masks, when outside of their residence, is still mandatory for persons who are immuno-compromised, sick, or have flu-like symptoms. They are also “strongly advised” to stay at home and to seek immediate medical consultation.
Meanwhile Rama, during a press conference on Wednesday, said that the City will still focus on its vaccination campaign, especially in schools.
“I do not want to be coming out with repetitious pronouncements that we are already going towards…In fact, last February, we already make a pronouncement about freedom and shared responsibility. Amping lang. As we go on with our pronouncement, we also did not stop with our formula which we call ‘vaccination is the way to liberation’,” he said.
Rama added that whether or not students continue to wear face masks inside of schools will be up to the decision of school administrators and the students’ parents.
Rama said he issued the EO based on the City’s local autonomy as provided for in the Philippine Constitution.
“We, in the local government, are better in terms of how we are seeing the gamut of social activities and in health activities,” he said.
He also said that the City will forward a copy of the signed EO to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr. for the latter’s information on the EO’s content.
Rama also said that if the need arises, they can “right away” adjust the contents of the executive order based on the “call of the time.” /rcg
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