DAVAO City Mayor Sebastian Duterte already signed an executive order (EO), making the wearing of face masks indoors and outdoors voluntary, two years after the city was struck by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Duterte made the announcement during the Pasko Fiesta opening on Thursday evening, December 1.

"Ganiha, gipirmahan nako ang (Earlier, I signed the) EO supporting the Executive Order of President Bongbong Marcos Jr. nga optional na ang atong indoor ug outdoor sa pagsuot sa face mask (that makes the wearing of face masks on both indoor and outdoor voluntary)," the mayor said.

Marcos issued on October 28, 2022, EO 7 allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks indoors amid the pandemic.

Under EO 7, the wearing of face masks both indoors and outdoors shall be optional except in healthcare facilities, such as clinics, hospitals, laboratories, nursing homes and dialysis clinics; medical transport vehicles such as ambulance and paramedic rescue vehicles; and public transportation either by land, air or sea.

The elderly, individuals with comorbidities, immunocompromised persons, pregnant women, unvaccinated individuals and persons manifesting symptoms of Covid-19 are still “highly encouraged” to continue wearing face masks especially in public places.

“As a result of continued immunization, countries around the world have been instituting measures such as reopening or international borders, and relaxation of health and safety protocols and requirements, resulting in immediate positive impacts to their economies,” the EO read.

Despite his pronouncement, Duterte still urged them to wear masks.

"I still strongly encourage nga suot gihapon mo, pero (to still wear it, but) it's optional," he said.

"Congratulations sa atoa nga nigawas na gyud ta sa pandemya (to us for we were, somehow, able to overcome the pandemic)," he added.

As of writing, the city has not yet publicly issued the EO adopting the national government's EO.

The 20th City Council has also yet to adopt the city's amended EO on the wearing of face masks.

Earlier this year, both the national and city government issued EOs making the wearing of masks outdoors voluntary. RGL