Mayor, guv support optional mask wearing in open spaces

(Arnold Almacen photo)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. and Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas support the national government’s recommendation to make the wearing of face masks optional in open public spaces.

Defensor told Daily Guardian that it was “high time” that the mandatory wearing of face masks be scrapped in the province.

He cited that there have been lower transmissions of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases as well as the high vaccination rates and continuous inoculation efforts.

But he stopped short of completely scrapping the wearing of face masks,

“[Mask-wearing] is just a consequence of the situation of COVID-19 and the levels of vaccination, and [scrapping mask mandates in open spaces] is reasonable and I agree with that,” Defensor said in a phone interview.

Defensor said that in the meantime, he will keep Executive Order No. 260, which provides for Iloilo province’s COVID-19 protocols intact while awaiting the formal edicts from the national government.

Treñas, on his part, only responded with “I support” via text message when asked for comment.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said on Wednesday that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has recommended the optional wearing of face masks in open public spaces.