Davao City to maintain mandatory mask rule until December

Davao Mayor Sebastian Duterte. Courtesy of Davao City Government

DAVAO CITY — Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte said Friday he wants to maintain mandatory face mask wearing across the city, at least until the end of the year.

On his radio show, Duterte said that despite the recommendation of the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), the easing of the face mask policy will not be imposed immediately on Davao City if approved.

He said he supports the recommendation of the city’s acting health officer, Dr. Ashley Lopez, to keep the mandatory wearing of face masks indoors and outdoors through December.

“I agree to implement the mandatory mask rule until December because I want to see what will happen to provinces, municipalities and cities that will not mandate face masks,” he told Cebuano.

The mayor said the city would only relax the mask rule if other parts of the country were fine after implementation.

“I don’t want us to take the lead because COVID is a huge problem,” the mayor said, noting that for the past two years the city’s economy has suffered due to the deadly virus.

The mayor said Dabawenyos should wait for data from other places to become conclusive showing that not wearing face masks is safe.

“We will wait until December or maybe earlier, if we can check the data from other places, if all is well, then we will implement the optional face mask, that’s what we will do,” said said the mayor.

Since July this year, there has been an increase in active cases of COVID-19 in Davao City.

From 101 active cases on July 2, coronavirus infections in the city rose to 620 on September 3.

— report by Hernel Tocmo

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