Leyte SP to pass ordinance on mandatory wearing of mask in public
TACLOBAN CITY, April 12 (PIA) – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Leyte is set to pass an ordinance for the mandatory wearing of mask in public in the Province of Leyte.
This was disclosed during the Eastern Visayas Virtual Presser held recently with DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya and some members of the local media.
Usec Malaya reiterated the call of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urging local government units (LGUs) to pass an ordinance requiring their constituents to wear face masks in public as a precautionary measure to combat the spread of COVID-19.
In his response, Vice Governor Carlo Loreto said the wearing of mask in public is already a part of Governor Dominic “Mic” Petilla’s Executive Order placing the province of Leyte under General Community Quarantine, however, the Provincial Legislative Body will pass an ordinance as mandated by DILG.
Following the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that LGUs’ issuing an ordinance requiring residents to wear face masks in public can help ensure that people are not passing the virus around.
He said that as the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surges, LGUs must adapt and respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic and drafting such ordinance that requires citizens to wear face masks outside their home is doing just that.
”We must be vigilant. Hindi biro ang coronavirus na ito kaya hinihikayat ko ang mga LGU na tiyakin na ang kanilang mga kababayan ay laging nakasuot ng face mask kapag sila ay lalabas sa pamamagitan ng pagsasabatas ng ordinansa ukol dito. This is our small way of ensuring that the virus will not spread,” says Año who was also recently tested positive for COVID-19 and is now on self-quarantine.
He explains that the government will accept improvised or home-made face masks so long as people use it in public. He says that coupled with the other mechanisms currently existing in line with the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) such as physical distancing, usage of quarantine passes, and encouraging people to stay at home, among others, mandatory wearing of face masks whenever people are outside is an additional measure that can be practiced within the community.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the Unites States of America are mulling on changing their stand on the usage of face masks in controlling the coronavirus.
WHO initially recommended that community level usage of face masks is not encouraged noting that it should only be worn by people with COVID-19 symptoms and health care workers.
A US study prompted WHO and CDC’s possible change of heart. The said study suggests that droplets from coughs and sneezes could be projected further than originally thought, hence, requiring people to wear face masks for some protection. (PIA8)