By Junex Doronio
September 1, 2022
Today Show photo courtesy
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Taking a cue from Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, Lapu-Lapu Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan and John Eddu Ibañez, executive secretary to Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, on Thursday disclosed that they are already studying the lifting of the mandatory face masks rule in their areas of jurisdiction.
This developed even as Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. claimed that Rama has agreed to defer the implementation of his order that declares the wearing of face masks in open spaces under its jurisdiction “non-obligatory.”
“Mayor Mike agreed to temporarily put this executive order on hold by virtue of my commitment to bring the matter to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) for deliberation,” Abalos said.
Rama could not be reached for confirmation.
But as early as June, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia issued EO 16, which makes the wearing of face masks in open spaces in the province no longer mandatory, in contrast to the protocols set by the IATF against Covid-19.
The DILG chief pointed out that the country is still in a national health emergency and that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has repeatedly called for the public to be vigilant and proactive in following health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.
There is no official statement from Malacañang on Rama’s executive order lifting the wearing of facemasks.
“In fact, I am going to even further suggest to make Cebu City the pilot implementer of this measure since the city has always been first in espousing non-masking policies outdoors for the ease and benefit of its people amid the pandemic,” Abalos said which appeared contradictory with his deferment order. (AI/MTVN)