Palace ''respects'' decision of Cebu City lifting mandatory wearing of face masks in open spaces
Malacanang said it ''respects'' the decision of Cebu City to implement its new policy lifting mandatory wearing of face masks in open spaces.
"We respect the mandate of local governments over their own jurisdictions," said Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said.
Angeles said the Palace is waiting for the reaction of the Department of Health (DOH).
The DOH does not agree with an executive order by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to lift mandatory face mask policy in open spaces.
In a press conference, DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said they were not consulted with the health department.
"We were never consulted on this matter regarding this removal of face masks in the outdoors," said Vergeire.
" We cannot have one area implementing a certain protocol while the rest of the country is implementing the other side of or a different protocol," she added.
CNN Philippines said Rama released the executive order on Wednesday, allowing voluntary use of face masks in open areas, except inside medical facilities, for immunocompromised persons and those with symptoms of COVID-19.
Rama said businesses can decide if face masks must be worn in their areas, CNN reported.
"Wearing of face mask is non-obligatory but as a measure of self-preservation," Rama said, according to CNN Philippines.
Vergeire said the DOH is leaving the case of Cebu City to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). DMS