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The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) it is up to Malacañang to determine its action against the Cebu provincial government for refusing to amend its controversial ordinance making wearing of face masks outdoors optional. 

Interior Undersecretary Martin B. Diño issued the statement, when asked how the DILG would respond to the refusal of the Cebu Governor Gwendolyn “Gwen” F. Garcia to revise her Executive Order (EO) No. 16. in order to comply with Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) protocols. 

“If that is the preference of Governor Gwen, let us see what is stipulated by the law and will be the decision of Malacañang regarding the ordinance made by the Province of Cebu,” Diño said. 

EO 16 allows the optional wearing of a face mask in well ventilated and open spaces.

This is contrary to IATF’s policy, which allows the removal of face masks only while eating or during certain well-ventilated activities.

Despite the issuance of EO 16, DILG continued to strictly enforce the IATF regulations for mask wearing in Cebu.  

Diño said the deadline given to Garcia to amend her EO No. 16 will lapse this week. 

Last week, Interior Undersecretary Epimaco V. Densing said they will be issuing a show cause order to Garcia if she continues to maintain the current version of EO 16.