Cebu City mulls removing mandatory use of face masks in public, open spaces

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 30 2022 07:52 PM

 Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama met stakeholders and department heads on Aug. 30, 2022 to talk about the city's face mask policy. Cebu City Public Information Office
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama met stakeholders and department heads on Aug. 30, 2022 to talk about the city's face mask policy. Cebu City Public Information Office


Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said Tuesday is seriously considering to remove the mandatory use of face masks in public and open spaces.

Rama discussed the possible relaxation of the face mask rule in a convergence meeting with stakeholders and department heads.

“This will now start in the homes,” Rama had said in an earlier press interview.

“Wearing of face masks in public open spaces may become a thing of the past,” the city’s public information office also said.

In the meeting, a draft of the executive order mandating to lift the face mask rule was presented by the mayor’s secretary Atty. Collin Rosell.

The draft was not made public as it is still subject to revision, and will also require implementing rules to ensure the relaxed policy will not result in a surge of COVID-19 cases.

If the measure pushes through, Rama becomes the second local chief executive to have removed the mandatory use of face masks amid the lingering pandemic.

In June this year, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia issued an executive order lifting the use of face masks outdoors, causing a row between her and national government officials, including Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

Her order was eventually backed by the provincial board, and turned it into an ordinance.

As of Tuesday, based on Department of Health Region 7’s latest data, Cebu City has 397 active COVID-19 cases and has logged over 59,000 since the start of the pandemic.

This city also went through three surges and was once the epicenter of the virus when the pandemic broke out in 2020.

- report from Annie Perez

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