Jump to content

Outdoor masking now optional


Recommended Posts

  • Forum Support

President Marcos has signed an executive order making masks optional in outdoor well ventilated areas. :thumbsup:

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1662979/okay-to-take-off-masks-outdoors-marcos-eo

MANILA, Philippines — Wearing a face mask is now optional outdoors and in areas that are well-ventilated and not crowded.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday issued Executive Order No. 3 relaxing the mask mandate as recommended last week by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), despite opposition from several medical groups and health experts due to the poor booster vaccination coverage in the country and the continuing community transmission of COVID-19.

The presidential directive, however, requires masking in indoor private or public establishments, crowded and poorly ventilated settings, and in all public transportation, adding that “not fully vaccinated individuals, senior citizens and immunocompromised are highly encouraged to wear their masks and physical distancing will be observed at all times.”

The order took effect immediately upon its publication in the Official Gazette also on Monday.

In the EO, the president noted that neighboring countries in Southeast Asia and various governments across the world have liberalized their mask mandates “without significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.”

He said that as of Sept. 6, a total of 72 million Filipinos, or 93 percent of the target population, had been fully vaccinated, while 18 million individuals, or 23 percent of the target, already had their booster doses.


“We are happy to announce that we are 6 percent away from the wall of immunity, that is why we are emboldened [in relaxing the rule] on face masks,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles said in a press briefing.

She said the achievement of a wall of immunity, or 100 percent of the target population, was one of the conditions imposed by the president, but “since we’re 6 percent away from that, then it’s time.”

“We’re doing this in stages, in phases, so that we can have feedback on whether or not these new policies are working, and how to make them more efficient so that hopefully by the end of the year we might be able to be voluntarily masked indoors as well,” she added.

All departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the government, including state universities and colleges, government-owned and -controlled corporations and financial institutions, and local governments were directed “to render full assistance to and cooperation with the IATF for the effective and orderly implementation” of the EO.

Angeles said local governments would play a role in implementing the EO as they would determine, “with some discretion,” which outdoor setting would require the wearing of face masks.

Marcos has also extended the state of calamity due to the pandemic for three more months, “but only for the purpose of preserving the benefits under it,” according to Angeles.

These include emergency procurements, indemnification for vaccine side effects, and special risk allowances for healthcare workers.

Opposition
Some lawmakers have joined health professionals in opposing the easing of the mask policy. Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin on Monday described as “premature” the IATF’s recommendation to make the wearing of a face mask optional as it would send a “mixed signal” wherein the public might get the impression that COVID-19 booster shots were unnecessary.

“What are the added benefits of taking off the masks? I still don’t understand, but we are taking a huge risk in relaxing the protocol. The question is, have we prepositioned medicine for COVID? If you get sick, will this medicine be given for free? These are questions that should be answered before we have a final decision on the mask policy,” Garin, a former health secretary, pointed out.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros also expressed concern over the decision of Malacañang.

“The virus is not any less serious or dangerous just because we’ve decided that masks are optional. We should not be lulled into a false sense of safety,” Hontiveros said.

“Let’s not forget that we have reopened most of the economy and can live our daily lives now partially thanks to the protection of masks,” she added.

For Kabataan Rep. Raoul Danniel Manuel, the Marcos administration seemed “overly confident” in making the use of a face mask optional in outdoor areas.

“Policies like making masks optional in outdoor spaces arise when health experts and professionals take the back seat in national decision-making. Public officials should be the first to educate their constituents about COVID-19, rather than let the people be harmed by dangerously misguided policies,” he said.

Intensify vaccination
Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, chair of the Senate health and demography committee, said that while he believed that the government’s decision was based on “good science,” he advised the public not to be complacent. 

The independent COVID-19 monitor OCTA Research also supported the new policy relaxing the mask mandate.

“We have been at the forefront of advocating the relaxation of the mask mandate for the outdoors as long as these spaces are not crowded and there is good ventilation,” the group said in a statement.

OCTA, however, urged the government to determine the conditions that will “trigger” reimposing the use of masks outdoors.

It also encouraged the public to participate in vaccination and booster programs.

“Mask or no mask, the vaccination programs need to be intensified as these are the most viable ways to protect our citizens from COVID-19,” said OCTA.

On Monday, the Department of Health said that daily reported COVID-19 cases continued to decline for the fourth straight week.

The seven-day average detected cases fell to 2,197, which was 10 percent lower than the previous week’s 2,449 average daily cases.

Of the 15,379 new cases confirmed by laboratory tests, 12 were in severe or critical condition which brought the current total severe and critical cases to 727 from 768 last week.

The relaxed mask mandate was initiated by Cebu despite initial concerns from the national government.

On Sunday, Negros Occidental adopted the optional use of face masks in outdoor settings. 

Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson released Executive Order No. 22-45 making the use of masks in outdoor and open spaces in the province voluntary.

Lacson was the fourth local chief executive who issued the order following the province and city of Cebu as well as Iloilo province.

The governor, however, stressed that the wearing of masks in indoor spaces, including hospitals and other medical facilities, would remain mandatory.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Been optional in Cebu city for about 2 weeks which included indoors. But Ayala never read Mayor Rama's EO so was still mask in malls. Ramas oder was up to establishments if they want facemasks indoors but not required.

I guess now that its at the IATF level Rama will have to change his order and just make it open spaces but will see. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No much difference for me here in Guihulgnan, most weren't wearing them anyway not even PNP or "enforcers".  Good news if we head to Dumaguete or San Carlos though. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, BrettGC said:

No much difference for me here in Guihulgnan, most weren't wearing them anyway not even PNP or "enforcers".  Good news if we head to Dumaguete or San Carlos though. 

There was a man coughing his head off about 1 meter away, no face mask on and he worked in the store., I was with my wife and her sister having a demo with another shop assistant looking at blenders. I lost my rag and shouted at the man, put your mask on dong you should know better. Anyhow he put his mask on and walked off.

I would not mind but he never even turned his head away, coughing his head off directley at us. 

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, jimeve said:

There was a man coughing his head off about 1 meter away, no face mask on and he worked in the store., I was with my wife and her sister having a demo with another shop assistant looking at blenders. I lost my rag and shouted at the man, put your mask on dong you should know better. Anyhow he put his mask on and walked off.

I would not mind but he never even turned his head away, coughing his head off directley at us. 

Understand your reaction Jim it is so annoying and a direct assault on our health when someone is coughing without a mask on close by. You called him "dong" so he was obviously a Filipino. 

I'm told I'm too easy going but if a situation like this occurs here I will avoid saying anything to a Filipino in front of others as it can lead to them losing face...as I know you know mate...but no telling what they might do if this happens. I would just leave that shop without saying anything. Avoid confrontation..the Philippine way!

If it was a non Filipino person though coughing strongly, yes then I would politely ask them to mask up. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/13/2022 at 7:35 AM, Jollygoodfellow said:

Been optional in Cebu city for about 2 weeks which included indoors.

Cebu province, not Cebu City, and indoors they are still required everywhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion, on a global basis, outdoor masking should no longer be required.  Indoor masking can be based on the property owner's policy.  Hospitals and healthcare facilities should still require masks.  The death rate from Covid 19 in the United States is 400 a day.  Most are non-vaccinated, elderly, or immune compromised.  Test kits and medications are supplied for free by the pharmacy, delivered free the same day, if you get Covid 19.  Stay home, don't go to the hospital.  The CDC recommendation is once a year booster shot based on any new variations that appear.  

I believe the Philippines cautionary policy is because the majority have not gotten a booster.  Millions of vaccine dosages expired because many were reluctant to receive their first or second vaccination.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll add my .02 cents here... 

I look at it this way... If wearing masks really worked at preventing the spread of Covid and at one point EVERYONE was required to wear one, then why are people still getting sick? Same goes with being vaccinated. The government was pushing everyone hard to get vaccinated as they claimed it will prevent you from getting sick and prevent the spread of the virus. The fact is it does neither of those things. If the vaccines worked as the government claimed, then why are people who are fully vaccinated, including boosters, getting the virus? The fact is, the vaccines and the masks do little to nothing to prevent the spread or prevent infection for anyone. My entire household (me, my wife and 2 young adult boys) all got Covid back in late January of this year. None of us are vaccinated and getting the virus was the equivalent of getting a bad cold for about 10 days. It wasn't the "killer" virus that they are trying to get you to believe. Now, we are all immune and I believe that the immunity is stronger than any vaccine or mask can provide.

Where I work, the HR department alerts the entire workplace if someone who works there has come down with the virus and also alerts anyone who may have been physically close to that person so that they can take necessary precautions. I have been exposed twice since recovering from Covid myself (we are now not required to wear masks or social distance any longer at work). The last exposure, I was working directly with the person who was infected. Each time, I did not get sick again and I believe it was because of my immunity that protected me. I don't wear a mask anywhere I go and I'm not vaccinated nor do I plan to be and I, nor my family, have gotten Covid since we got it initially back in January. 

I do believe that the virus affects those people who have pre-existing conditions, weakened immune systems or aren't healthy differently than a healthy person. But I do not believe that the vaccine/boosters/masks are going to prevent them from getting sick. What the data does show is that the virus affects everyone differently. But if wearing a mask or getting vaccinated is your thing and makes you feel better and protected, then I'm OK with that. You do what you feel is necessary. I feel the government(s) are using the virus as a measure of control over the people, through fear and also in some way, making money from it. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moderator moved to the Coronavirus Topic.  Please try to separate "Rona Rants from the topics at hand.  Thank You.

 

I'm fine that you're fine with it.... what I can't get my head around is why there are still some countries, Philippines included, that don't follow the science and are still mandating masks and vaccines that don't work. Have you noticed the drop in the value of the Philippine Peso? Do you wonder why that is? I'm no economist but, I'll bet that it has a lot to do with their draconian Covid policies. If the Philippines would open up and allow tourism again then more people would travel there and spend their money there thus growing their economy along with all the trade and commerce that goes along with it and prevent the peso from devaluing... eh, but what do I know.... 

Freedom to choose is a great thing, but as I see it, the Philippine people and those expats living there are not free to choose as you imply. The government tells you otherwise, regardless of what the science says. If your OK with that then, carry on. IMHO governments that govern using "fear" instead of facts are making "subjects" of their citizens. Just my opinion. Oh.... and don't forget to get your booster shot when the government tells you to, you know.... so you can do stuff there.

Edited by Dave Hounddriver
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Kingpin said:

Cebu province, not Cebu City, and indoors they are still required everywhere.

If you read the news Rama EO says everywhere and not just indoors. This is where the argument started so the IATF made recommendations to BO BO for no masks outdoors. Rama has not changed his EO yet and says he wont. Since about 2 weeks or since Ramas EO my GF does not have to wear a mask at work anymore and that policy still applies after the IATF ruling.  Again Ramas Executive order allowed for establishment's to make their own rules as to if they require mask. Cebu province had the no mask policy outdoors probably for 2 months. 

The fights between different sectors of goverment are over local goverment making EOs outside of the DOH or IATF rules.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...