MANILA, PHILIPPINES — On Monday, September 12, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed Executive Order No. (EO) 3 which allows the voluntary use of facemasks outdoors.
The EO highlighted the decision of neighboring countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other countries to ease their mask mandates without a considerably better number of Covid-19 cases.
“The voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation is hereby allowed,” Section 1 of EO 3 stated.
However, the latest directive said that “not fully-vaccinated individuals, senior citizens, and immunocompromised individuals are highly encouraged to wear their masks, and physical distancing will be observed at all times.”
Face masks should still be used in indoor private and public settings, and on land, air, and sea public transportation. However, it cannot maintain physical separation in outdoor situations where it is added.
In addition, the EO mandated the continuous use of minimum public health standards (MPHS) intended to effectively prevent and restrict the spread of Covid-19 all over the country.
The order stated that the indicators for monitoring the status of Covid-19, such as vaccination rates and adjustments in booster coverage, warrant the same.
Furthermore, the Department of Health was tasked to update the MPHS guidelines and submit recommendations for additional changes in the MPHS, including the relaxation of indoor mask requirements.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is also directed to provide complete assistance and cooperation to carry out the order in an efficient and orderly way.
This declaration applies to all departments, agencies, and government instrumentalities, including state universities and colleges, government-owned and controlled corporations, and local governments.
Read the full Executive Order No. 3 below:
Last August 31, Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama issued Executive Order No. 5, which voluntarily lifted face mask restrictions in most places, except for medical facilities.
The Philippines has fully vaccinated around 72.7 million individuals against COVID-19 and given booster shots to approximately 18.5 million Filipinos. –WhatALife!/Brix