DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, said he has ordered the DILG regional office in Central Visayas to look into the vaccine bubble policy of the Cebu City Government.
He stressed that this was not approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Under the vaccine bubble policy, individuals who are fully vaccinated against the highly infectious coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) will enjoy privileges such as indoor dining and access to personal care services in salons and spas.
The Department of Health (DOH), which chairs the IATF, earlier said it was not in favor of easing restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals because this would lead to discrimination and would be disadvantageous to those who don’t have access to the vaccine yet.
Read: DOH thumbs down proposed ‘vaccine bubbles’
Año said he ordered the DILG regional office to coordinate with Cebu City acting Mayor Michael Rama regarding the policy.
He said the implementation of the policy is not timely because of the low vaccination rate in the country.
Under Rama’s Executive Order 138, food kiosks, commissaries, restaurants and eateries may operate and provide indoor dine-in services at 10 percent to partially and fully vaccinated individuals.
Beauty salons, barbershops, beauty parlors and nail spas, which may operate at 30 percent capacity, may provide services to partially and fully vaccinated customers.
Those who are not yet vaccinated may still enter malls and other establishments.
Cebu City shifted to general community quarantine with heightened restrictions on September 1, 2021. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo / SunStar Philippines)