AS DAVAO City continues to enjoy an Alert Level 1 status and low Covid-19 cases in the past two months, Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio cautioned Dabawenyos about lifting the mandatory wearing of face masks.

During the resumption of her Special Hours program over 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) aired on Monday, May 16, 2022, she said the City Government of Davao will have to wait for any memo from the Department of Health regarding the matter.

"Maghulat ta ana. Ang mga public health experts lang gyud ang makasulti sa atoa niana kung kanus-a ta pwede dili na mag face mask. Ang akoa lang caution gyud ana is dili nato tanggalon ang mandatory mask wearing nato kung ibalik lang man pud gihapon nato in one or two months or after a few weeks tungod kay masuko ang mga tao. It's better na ipadayon nalang na kung unsure sila (We will have to wait for that. The public health experts are the ones who can say when we can take off our masks. I'd like to caution (our people) that we won't lift our mandatory mask wearing if it will just have to be revived again after one or two months or after a few weeks since people might become angry. It's better to continue with it if they are unsure)," Duterte-Carpio, who is also the presumptive vice president, said.

She reiterated that only public health experts can decide on the matter and the city will just comply with their recommendations.

The mandatory wearing of face mask, according to her, is the first minimum public health standard (MPHS) that was implemented since Covid-19 struck the country in early 2020.

She added, "dako ang prevention na mabuhat kung magsuot ta, tama ug sakto ang pagsuot sa mask (It would be a good prevention from Covid-19 transmission if we wear face masks properly)."

In her Executive Order (EO) No. 11 Series of 2022, known as "An Order Lifting All Covid-19 Restrictions in Davao City," signed on March 7, 2022, Mayor Duterte lifted other Covid-19 protocols and guidelines such as the use of DQR for contact tracing and the one-meter social distancing but retained the wearing of face masks.

Meanwhile, Davao City Ordinance No. 0307-20 mandates the wearing of face masks and stipulates that any person caught not wearing a face mask in public places shall be penalized with a fine of P500 for the first offense; P2,000 for a second offense; and P5,000 or one-month imprisonment for the third offense.

Face mask violators who fail to pay their fines will have to face charges. (CIO)