DILG, Cebu LGU agree to craft guidelines on face mask policy in the province

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Cebu provincial government settled into forming guidelines before making the wearing of face mask optional in the province.

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DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said Friday, June 24, that they are waiting for the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) in the lifting of mask rule in the province from the Cebu government.

The DILG and the Cebu Provincial government have been conducting dialogues and consultation meetings in the past few days with regards to the controversial optional wearing of face masks in province.

“Secretary Año and Gov. Garcia have also discussed the matter over the phone and noted that Cebu Ordinance No. 2022-03 in Section 4 requires the Provincial Governor to issue the necessary implementing rules and regulations prior to its enforcement,” said DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.

“Therefore, this department will just await the issuance of said IRR,” he added.

Garcia earlier issued Executive Order No. 16 which states that the wearing of face masks is optional and shall be worn only in closed and air-conditioned spaces in the province.

But Garcia’s Executive Order was branded as illegal by Año as this does not conform with the order of President Duterte.

In the face mask issue, Garcia and Año traded barbs with each standing firm on their respective assessments.

Earlier, the DILG gave the Cebu provincial government only until the weekend to rectify the executive order, saying it violates national policy on the mandatory wearing of face masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic.