DOH Expresses Concern Other LGUs May Relax Face Mask Policy After Cebu City’s Move

DOH: “Other local governments may follow suit and that would be really disastrous for all of us.”

DOH — The Department of Health expressed concern that other local government units (LGUs) will also follow the move of Cebu City in relaxing the face mask policy.

According to DOH, it would cause a negative impact in the country’s response against the coronavirus pandemic.


DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a press briefing last September 2 that both the national government and local government units should unite in implementing policies regarding the coronavirus disease.

That is one of our worries. Dahil alam natin kapag nagtuloy-tuloy ang mga ganitong mga actions ng local governments, other local governments may follow suit and that would be really disastrous for all of us,” Vergeire said.

She added that the guidelines on wearing face masks by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is still in effect in the country and the move of the Cebu City officials is “opposed” to the IATF resolution.

READ ALSO: Benhur Abalos Says Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama Agrees To Defer Implementation Of Lifting Face Mask Policy (

Vergeire noted that there are existing laws that require local government units to adhere to the policies set by the national government during this coronavirus pandemic.

According to her, children and elderly people will be more at risk of contracting the coronavirus disease by easing the face mask policy.

Vergeire’s statement came after Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama signed an executive order (EO) lifting the mandatory face mask policy in outdoor and open spaces in the city.

DILG Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. announced last September 1 that Mayor Rama has agreed to defer the lifting of the face mask policy in the city.

In a press briefing last August 31, Vergeire said that wearing a face mask reduced the chance of getting sick by about 70% to 80%. She also said that the country needs to meet certain criteria first before further easing the restrictions.

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