Hon. Eduardo M. Año

The President has directed that we will continue to wear face masks except under circumstances defined by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EMID). Current IATF protocols allow only for specific instances when masks can be taken off, such as when eating or during certain well-ventilated sports and activities.

Our adherence to minimum public health standards (MPHS) is the key to defeating this pandemic. Wearing of face masks, together with vaccination and boosters have helped keep our COVID-19 case counts low despite the detection of new subvariants. Scientific evidence worldwide proves that the use of face masks reduces the transmission not only of COVID-19, but also of other infectious and respiratory diseases including Monkeypox, should it reach our country.

The Department wishes to remind the public and all Local Government Units that the COVID-19 virus is still present and the pandemic is not yet over. Individuals can still catch the virus, most especially our senior citizens and vulnerable population. We should therefore be vigilant, continue our adherence to all MPHS and get vaccinated or boosted immediately.

Hence, this Department does not recognize the Executive Order issued by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia because we have the IATF Guidelines approved by the President. The Philippine National Police will continue to confront, apprehend, and arrest, if necessary, all violators of IATF Guidelines and MPHS in the Province of Cebu.

Original Article at: https://dilg.gov.ph/news/Statement-of-the-Department-of-the-Interior-and-Local-Government/NC-2022-1078

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