Palace respects Cebu City’s planned removal of mandatory face mask use

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2022 02:43 PM | Updated as of Aug 31 2022 02:44 PM

People wearing face masks as a precaution against COVID-19 fall in line at the Monumento bus stop in Caloocan on January 3, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN New
People wearing face masks as a precaution against COVID-19 fall in line at the Monumento bus stop in Caloocan on January 3, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN New


MANILA - Malacañang on Wednesday said it respects the decision of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to lift the mandatory wearing of face mask in his city.

Rama is set to sign within the day an executive order that allows those in Cebu City to do away with face masks, a personal protective equipment the Department of Health (DOH) described as one of the most effective ways to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

“It may be taken under advisement, although we do respect the mandates of local governments over their own jurisdiction,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said in a virtual press conference,.

“There is no reaction yet from the Palace for this one,” she noted, adding, they are “waiting for the reaction of the DOH on this one.”

“So without all the information coming in, there will be no statement yet,” Cruz-Angeles said. 

In June, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) under the administration of then President Rodrigo Duterte said it was mulling to take legal action against Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia for making the wearing of face masks optional in the Visayan province.

Garcia had said that there was “no legal basis” for authorities to apprehend those who would not wear face masks in the province as a resolution from the Inter Agency Task Force on COVID-19 guarantees that the panel would “recognize the autonomy of local government units.”

The Department of Health (DOH) had said government would consider making outdoor face mask use optional once all vulnerable sectors are protected through COVID-19 vaccination.

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