DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said on Thursday, June 23, 2022, they are putting on hold any possible move against Cebu’s face mask protocol until they come up with the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the ordinance.

Año said he discussed the matter through a phone call with Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia.

“Maganda naman sapagkat nagseek kami ng compromise or common solution for this issue at maganda kasi very much cooperative ang bawat isa, kaya nagpapasalamat din tayo sa Provincial Government and Governor Gwen and we took note on the ordinance by the provincial council,” he said in an interview with reporters.

“Doon sa Section 4, meron nakalagay doon na magkacraft sila ng IRR bago iimplement 'yung ordinance. So ngayon ay kasalukuyan nagcacraft sila ng IRR doon to rationalize the wearing of face mask at aantayin natin ‘yung resulta ng IRR bago tayo magbibigay ng panibagong guidance,” he added.

The Cebu Provincial Board earlier passed an ordinance making the wearing of face masks in open and well-ventilated areas in the province optional.

It was based on the executive order issued by Garcia lifting the mandatory face mask rule, in contrast to the minimum health protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Last week, Año gave the Cebu Provincial Board until a three-day ultimatum to rectify their face mask protocol or they will exhaust all legal remedies against them. (SunStar Philippines)