Face mask policy in Cebu province may become a law

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OPTIONAL wearing of face masks in well-ventilated and open spaces in Cebu Province may finally become a local law.

Lawyer John Ismael “Jiembo” Borgonia, Sangguniang Panglungsod member, told SunStar Cebu on Monday, June 13, 2022, that the face mask policy of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia may become a law during their regular session at 2 p.m. today, June 13.

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Borgonia said this would only happen if Garcia would issue a certificate of urgency to tackle his proposed ordinance titled “An Ordinance Rationalizing the Wearing of Face Masks within the Province of Cebu.”

Borgonia said the governor’s certificate of urgency is needed since he was not able to submit the said proposed ordinance last Wednesday, June 8, the deadline of submission of resolutions and ordinances to be tackled for this week’s regular session.

He also noted that under the Local Government Code, they are allowed to conduct three readings for the proposed ordinance in one session as long as it is urgent.

Garcia issued EO 16 last June 8, dropping the face mask requirement in open and well-ventilated spaces in the Province of Cebu.

Under her EO, mask wearing would be required only in closed and/or air-conditioned spaces.

But persons with Covid-19 symptoms like fever, cough or runny nose would still be required to wear a mask at all times when they leave their homes.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier said they did not recognize the EO of Garcia, and instead ordered police to continue to “confront,

apprehend, and arrest” all violators of minimum public health standards (MPHS).

Police Brigadier General Roque Eduardo Vega, regional director of PRO-Central Visayas, said they will continue to apprehend those who will violate the rules of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), as he ordered the local police and the public to follow the directives of the DILG.

Vega said he already called on the city and provincial police directors, including Police Colonel Engelbert Soriano, director of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO), who earlier said they will abide with the EO of the governor as it remains the law in the province unless it is later on invalidated by proper authority.

The Province of Cebu covers 44 towns and six component cities. (MKG)

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