DILG Says LGUs Not Following Indoors Face Mask Policy To Be “Disciplined”

DILG: “Sinabi nga ni Usec. Vergeire about the indoors, we really have to implement this one.”

DILG — The Department of the Interior and Local Government warned that local government units (LGUs) not following the national government’s policy on the use of face masks indoors will be “disciplined”.

DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos
Photo: Office of the Press Secretary / Facebook

To recall, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said that he asked Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to suspend the implementation of the city’s Executive Order 5 and that he will bring up the matter first with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Malacañang said on Wednesday that the IATF has recommended the voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces by year-end.

According to Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, the pilot testing of the voluntary face mask use in the country will be conducted towards the end of the year.

The Interior Secretary then warned that LGUs not following the government’s policy on the use of face masks indoors will be “disciplined”.

Next time around kung meron naman diyang gagalaw, sinabi nga ni [Health Department officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire] about the indoors, we really have to implement this one. Talagang disiplinahin na natin yan,” Abalos said at a public briefing on Wednesday.

The Interior Secretary made the statement when asked about possible actions against the Cebu City government, which last week lifted the mandatory face mask policy for outdoors against the DILG’s advice.

Mayor Rama said that he will continue implementing his executive order, citing the city government’s local autonomy.

READ ALSO: Malacañang Says IATF Recommended Voluntary Face Mask Use In Open Spaces

Vergeire, meanwhile, said that there’s a “verbal approval” from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr when they talked to Interior Secretary Abalos.

She added that the President’s executive order on the matter may be “immediately” released but the President has not given a timeline as to when exactly.

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