DILG sets deadline for Cebu to comply with face mask rule

Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 16 2022 05:41 PM

Photo composite of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año. ABS-CBN News/File
Photo composite of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año. ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Thursday set a deadline for Cebu provincial officials to comply with the national government's COVID-19 policy.

Cebu authorities have until the weekend to "amend, rectify, adjust their ordinance" after which government would take all necessary steps, including legal action, to ensure minimum health standards are met in the province, Año said.

"Lahat ng options ay gagawin natin dito at ito naman ay meron din instruction ang Office of the President na we should seek all remedies at kung wala ay we can also pursue legal action," he told reporters in Camp Crame.

(We will do all options and the Office of the President also instructed we should seek all remedies and if there are non we can also pursue legal action.)

"We will be giving the Cebu provincial government, the governor and the councilors to amend, rectify, adjust their ordinance and EO to be consistent with the EO 151 and the guidelines in the implementation of the alert level system which is part of EO 151. Maybe over the weekend we will give them a chance to rectify. After the weekend then we will do whatever is necessary."

Año insisted that national mandate must be followed over local concerns.

"The national government does not recognize the EO and the ordinance. Sabi nga ni Sec. Guevarra, they do not have or it's beyond their powers to supersede, to counter, to contradict a national statute which is including the EO of the president," the DILG chief said.

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia earlier said that under Section 5 of the latest Inter-Agency Task Force resolution issued June 4, the task force "recognizes the autonomy of local government units."

"It's very clear, 'provided further there is no objection from local government unit where these activities take place,'" she said.

"This specifically recognizes the autonomy of local government units. This IATF task force must at all times consult with local government unit."

Garcia also cited Section 105 of the Local Government Code which states the health secretary may assume direct supervision and control of health operations in any LGU for 6 months.

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