DILG may issue show cause order vs Cebu gov if she refuses to amend face mask policy
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) may issue a show cause order against Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia if she refuses to amend the executive order she issued allowing optional use of face masks in the province.
Undersecretary for Operations Epimaco Densing III said the regional officials of DILG are directed to communicate with Garcia to make an adjustment or amendment to the executive order.
"The DILG is considering sanctions for Cebu local government if it (continues to implement the optional wearing of face mask). That should be the last step, sending a show cause order to the good governor but in the meantime we will have to ask our officials in the region to talk to the governor to make some adjustments in the EO," he said during the "Laging Handa" public briefing on Monday.
"I believe there is a good intent in the EO by Gov. Gwen but most importantly we should probably look into the details so that it should be aligned with what is pronounced by the president. So in the meantime, communication is key. A show cause order will be the last step if ever no adjustments would be made ," he added.
Densing said the executive order should be adjusted so it will be aligned to the national policy as he noted the country remains under a national public
"When I saw the EO, there are some areas that are not aligned like in crowded places, people are encouraged to wear face masks. It should not be encouraged, it should be mandatory in crowded areas. It should only have to be aligned to the health protocols as announced by the President in the wearing of face masks," he explained.
"First of all, we are still under the national public health emergency, it will be lifted on or before Sept. 12 of this year. So in other words all of the directives of the local government should be aligned in the national government because we are in a pandemic and the one of the major policy that comes from the president is the continued wearing of face mask... except when we are eating or if there is proper ventilation," he said.
"This is a valid order from the highest official of the land, the president himself and I would like to mention that under the Constitution the President has the general supervision over all LGUs. In this case the governors and mayors of highly urbanized cities that are under the direction and supervision of the president," he added.
Densing also corrected the statement of Garcia who invoked the Section 105 of the local government code, saying this law is not applicable in the current situation in the country.
"I'll just want to correct her, this is not applicable in the situation right now because Section 105 of the local government code, says that the president can order the secretary of health after consulting with the local government to take over the health operations of an LGU and return it after six months but in our situation the national government never took over the local government health operations," he said.
"We national policies and part of these national policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is really to wear the face mask and one of the mandate of the all local government officials' is to follow the law, policy and regulations and this is the basis of the general supervision of our president and I wanted to say that this general supervision has been delegated to the DILG via Administrative Order 367," he added. Robina Asido/DMS