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Face masks still required in special cases outdoors, as Manila City Council amends ordinance

Manila City
Mayor Honey Lacuna with Vice Mayor Yul Servo and Majority Floor Leader Atty. Jong Isip, after the Manila City Council passed an ordinance amending the previous ordinance that made wearing of face masks mandatory in Manila, after President Marcos issued an executive order already making it voluntary when outdoors. (JERRY S. TAN)

MANILA Mayor Honey Lacuna announced that the Manila City Council headed by Presiding Officer and Vice Mayor Yul Servo enacted an ordinance amending Ordinance 8627 which requires the mandatory use of face masks in all public places within the city, still requiring it in super crowded places and for certain individuals who have higher risks of infection.
Lacuna said that Ordinance 8901 authored by Council Majority Floor Leader Ernesto ‘Jong’ Isip, Jr. was enacted pursuant to the Executive Order issued by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation.

The mayor said that under the amended ordinance, the voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor ideas with good ventilation, is allowed, provided that those not fully vaccinated individuals, senior citizens, and immunocompromised individuals are highly encouraged to wear face masks and physical distancing shall be observed at all times.

“Provided further, that the wearing of masks is still mandatory in heavily crowded spaces and events, and where minimum physical distancing cannot be obtained, such as but not limited to, fiesta celebrations, the feast of the Black Nazarene, “tiangge”, Christmas super spreader events and the like,” the ordinance stated.

According to Lacuna, the amended ordinance sponsored by Isip also provides that face masks shall still be worn in indoor private or public establishments, including public transportation by land, air or sea and in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The lady mayor said wearing of face masks outdoors is still highly encouraged for crowded places where physical distancing is impossible to be observed.

Lacuna cited figures stating that last week, the number of COVID cases in the city was only 160 plus but that this week, the cases rose to over 300.

The Presidential EO was based on IATF Resolution No.1, Series of 2022, which recommends the liberalization of the mask mandate in outdoor settings.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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