Face masks are here to stay for most Filipinos amid mandate suspension: OCTA

·Contributor
·2 min read
Face mask-clad pedestrians cross a road in Manila on September 12, 2022. - The Philippines on September 12 lifted a requirement for masks to be worn outdoors, more than two years after imposing the ruling as part of health measures against the Covid-19 coronavirus. (PHOTO: TED ALJIBE/AFP via Getty Images)
Face mask-clad pedestrians cross a road in Manila on September 12, 2022. - The Philippines on September 12 lifted a requirement for masks to be worn outdoors, more than two years after imposing the ruling as part of health measures against the Covid-19 coronavirus. (PHOTO: TED ALJIBE/AFP via Getty Images)

A survey has found that most Filipinos still want to continue to wear face masks even after the government has suspended the mandatory use of face masks in the country.

This comes after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed Executive Order No. 3 relaxing the mask mandate despite opposition from health experts and amid another uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country’s capital region.

According to a report released on Tuesday (Sep 13) by independent research group OCTA, 30% of adult Filipinos still prefer to wear masks six months after COVID-19 is declared controlled.

“These are huge numbers. There seems to be a consensus among adult Filipinos that masks are important and we don’t need to encourage them. They will wear masks because of their belief that it is for their own safety,” OCTA Research fellow Ranjit Rye said in a presentation during the Pandesal Forum on Tuesday (Sep 13).

The survey was conducted from April 22 to 25, 2022, more than a month before the country recorded weeks of uptick in COVID-19 cases especially in the country’s capital region.

“This [survey] shows part of the reason why [there are] very few reactions from the people against the new policy of the President because 30 percent of the adult population will continue to wear masks six months after Covid-19 is declared controlled,” Rye said.

Moreover, 28% of respondents said that they will continue wearing face masks a year after COVID-19 is declared controlled, while 16% said that they will continue to wear face masks even after two years.

Another 18%, meanwhile, said that they will continue to wear face masks after COVID-19 is declared under control.

Uptick in COVID-19 cases

On Tuesday, the Department of Health (DOH) logged 1,574 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s active cases to 24,502 amid the re-opening of schools.

According to DOH data, Metro Manila still has the highest number of new infections per region in the last two weeks with 9,133, followed by CALABARZON with 3,711 and Central Luzon with 2,304.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her on Twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings. The views expressed are her own.

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