Wearing of facemask in indoor areas aside from some instances will be optional according to the government dated today, October 25,2022 via ABS-CBN News.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is set to issue an executive order to promulgate the voluntary wearing of facemask in indoor areas.
It is agreed at the Cabinet meeting in accordance to the recommendation of Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) with regard to the pandemic protocol in the country.
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“The direction of the Marcos administration is to lift the remainder of travel restrictions in the Philippines that will include easing mask mandates that will allow the country to be at par with ASEAN neighbors who have long liberalized their mask mandates,” Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said.
However, it is still required to wear facemask inside public transportation, medical transportation and medical facility.
Further, people who are still unvaccinated against COVID-19, people with comorbidity and senior citizen are still mandated to wear facemask.
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It is also set to lift other COVID-19 restrictions such as unvaccinated foreigners entering the Phililippines as long as they can present a negative antigen test result obtained one day before the travel.
The One Health Pass has also been removed and changed to e-arrival platform which is easier for the passengers to answer.
“In the end, we simply cannot go on in a pandemic perspective because we have to give our country an opportunity to thrive while maintaining basic health protocols on one hand and safeguarding and protecting livelihood and the economy on the other,” Frasco said.
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The decision was after the easing positivity rate of COVID-19 in the Metro Manila and Calabarzon region.
According to the OCTA Research Group, people must still be cautious of the virus despite the easing protocols.
“Ito’y pwede nang pag-usapan na natin lalo na at mababa ang bilang ng kaso. Ngayon kasi, nakita natin pababa na ang mga kaso sa Metro Manila, at sa iba pang regions. Although may pagtaas pa, ay pababa na rin. Pero pwedeng ma-discuss din yan,” OCTA fellow Guido David stated.
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Meanwhile, the stance of Department of Health (DOH) still favors wearing facemask in public places.
“That is a question for the Office of the President. But for us, clear sa’min that we want to continue encouraging people. Hindi kayo pinagbabawal na mag-wear ng mask. There is also a process for decisions to be made and we are part of an entire task force. So we’ll just stop at that. Kasi depende pa ‘yan sa magiging desisyon ng presidente. This task force is made up of agencies that is recommendatory to the OP,” DOH Public Health Services Team Usec. Beverly Ho said.
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