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Cebu EO using optional mask void: DILG

MANILA, Philippines — Eduardo Ano, Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), said on Friday that authorities will continue to enforce mask mandates across the country, underlining that the coronavirus pandemic is not yet over.

This came after Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia issued Executive Order 8 on June 8 restricting the usage of face masks to indoor settings only.

“This Department does not accept Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia’s Executive Order because the President has approved the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) standards.” “All violators of IATF rules and MPHS (minimum public health standards) in the Province of Cebu will continue to be confronted, apprehended, and arrested if required,” Ano said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte, he claimed, has ordered that face masks be worn at all times unless the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases specifies otherwise (IATF-EID).

Masks can only be removed in limited circumstances, such as when eating or participating in certain well-ventilated sports and activities, according to current IATF standards.

“The key to fighting this epidemic is our commitment to minimal public health standards (MPHS).” Despite the discovery of novel subvariants, the use of face masks, together with vaccination and boosters, has helped keep our Covid-19 case counts low. Scientific research from throughout the world shows that wearing a face mask lowers the spread of not just Covid-19, but also other infectious and respiratory diseases, such as Monkeypox if it ever makes it to our country,” Ano stated.

He claims that the country’s better Covid-19 status is no cause to weaken health and safety regulations.

“Individuals, particularly our senior folks and vulnerable population, are still susceptible to the virus.” As a result, we must remain attentive, adhere to all MPHS, and get vaccinated or boosted as soon as possible,” he stated.

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