AT LEAST three municipalities in Cebu Province have adopted the controversial executive order (EO) of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia that allows optional wearing of face masks in well-ventilated and open spaces.
This, despite the ongoing rift between Garcia and outgoing Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año over the EO.
Medellin town Mayor Benjun Mondigo told SunStar Cebu on Friday, June 17, 2022, that the Municipal Council has already passed the resolution adopting the ordinance of the Provincial Board titled “An Ordinance Rationalizing the Wearing of Face Masks within the Province of Cebu” last week.
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Garcia issued EO 16 last June 8, dropping the face mask requirement in open and well-ventilated spaces in the province.
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.
Tuburan town Mayor Danny Diamante also confirmed through a text message that they already adopted the face mask policy of the province.
As they follow the EO of Garcia, Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura believed that such policy is the most logical way of dealing with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Shimura noted that his town has been Covid-free for almost a month already despite the 2022 election campaign period and their recent fiesta celebration.
He said, though, that it recorded one Covid-19 case last week but the patient was admitted in a hospital in Cebu City.
Shimura said that while they have popular beaches in the town, particularly the Malapascua and Carnaza Islands, it is logical for the public to take off their masks in outdoors and when they have no flu-like symptoms.
“Daanbantayan is part of the province of Cebu and as governor, Gwen as our leader and our chief executive in the province of Cebu, we are bound to follow the executive order and now the ordinance within the province of Cebu and the municipality of Daanbantayan,” he said in an interview on Friday.
Año earlier gave the Cebu Provincial Government a three-day ultimatum to “amend, rectify or adjust” its newly passed ordinance making the wearing of face masks in open and well-ventilated spaces optional.
But a day after Año issued the ultimatum, Garcia stood firm with the PB’s ordinance adopting her controversial EO 16.
When sought for a comment, Shimura said apprehending those who are not wearing face masks as ordered by Año to the police is very anti-poor.
“With all due respect to secretary of DILG, we must respect the local autonomy of each province and municipality because we know the terrain, we know the situation on the ground man gud,” he said.
“Naa mi atubang sa tawo and it’s very dangerous to some people nga magsige ta og mask especially init kaayo karong panahona,” Shimura added.
The mayor urged the national government to be humane enough to understand the situation on the ground, stressing people have no clear and stable jobs.
The province of Cebu covers 44 towns and six component cities.
June 20, 2022
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