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Wearing of face masks in Aklan’s open spaces now optional

KALIBO, Aklan (PIA) --  It is now optional or voluntary for Aklanons to wear face masks in open spaces.

This is based on Executive Order No. 027, series of 2022, issued September 13, 2022 by Governor Jose Enrique Miraflores which adopts and establishes the guidelines in the wearing of facemasks and the continued implementation of Minimum Public Health Standards pursuant to Executive Order No. 03 issued by His Excellency President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. dated Sept. 12, 2022.

In his E.O., Miraflores said the issuance by the President of E.O. No. 03 was premised on Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 01, series of 2022, recommending for the liberalization of the mask mandate by amending the guidelines and making wearing of face masks optional in open spaces or non-crowded areas with good ventilation, provided that senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals are highly encouraged to wear the masks.

An alternative is the issuance of an executive order lifting the mandatory mask mandate and allow the optional wearing of face masks in open spaces, outdoor areas, and no-crowded spaces with good ventilation.

“For several months now, Aklan has remained under Alert Level 1 and as of September 13, 95.94% of Aklan’s population have been fully vaccinated, thus, it is but apt to adopt the mandate of Executive Order No.03 of the Office of the President,” Miraflores said in his E.O.

Although the executive order makes wearing of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded areas with good venti-

Aklan Governor Jose Enrique Miraflores during one of his activities where he also announced his recent issuance of E.O. 027 making wearing of face masks optional in the province. (Photo Courtesy of Aklan Public Information and Media Division)

lation voluntary provided physical distancing is observed, the Governor stressed that face masks shall continually be worn in all other areas including in public transportation by land, air, or sea and in indoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The E.O. also mandates that the minimum public health standards intended to effectively prevent and to minimize the spread of C0VID-19 shall be implemented consistent with the principles of accountability, evidence-based decision-making, socio-economic equity, and right-based approach.

Meanwhile, as of this writing, two municipalities in Aklan have issued executive orders in reference to E.O. No. 03 of President Marcos.

LGU-Kalibo, through Mayor Juris Sucro, issued E.O. No. 032 adopting by reference E.O. issued by President Marcos; while LGU-Malay, through Mayor Frolibar Bautista, issued E.O. No. 026 Series of 2022 mandating moratorium in the implementation of selected provisions of Municipal Ordinance No. 470, Series of 2022. (JBG/VGV/PIA6 Aklan)

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Venus Villanueva


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