By Jim Lloyd Dongiapon

Davao City has formally adopted President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.’s Executive Order (EO) No. 7 series of 2022, which mandates the voluntary use of face masks both indoors and outdoors.

The Davao City government released a copy of Executive Order No. 71 Series of 2022 on Friday, December 2, announcing the relaxation of the face mask policy and reiterating the importance of continuing to uphold the minimum public health standards.

According to the EO, wearing face masks is now optional, except in the following areas:

  • Healthcare facilities (including, but not limited to, clinics, hospitals, laboratories, nursing homes, and dialysis clinics);
  • Medical transport vehicles (ambulance, and paramedic rescue vehicles); and,
  • Public transportation by land, air, or sea.

The elderly, people with comorbid conditions, people who are immunocompromised, pregnant women, those who are unvaccinated, and people who are symptomatic are all strongly advised to wear face masks.

Davao City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte announced that he had signed the order allowing the optional wearing of face masks during the opening of Pasko Fiesta sa Davao 2022 on Thursday, December 1. 

The pronouncement was welcomed with much joy by the Davaoeños.

Additionally, he commended his constituents for faithfully adhering to the COVID-19 protocols, which ultimately caused the pandemic to enter its endemic phase. 

Even though face masks were made optional, the mayor still urged everyone to wear one, especially in light of the expected massive crowds at the month-long Pasko Fiesta events.

The city’s decision to formally adopt the optional face mask policy was also seen as symbolic, in light of the fact that this year also marks its first face-to-face holiday celebrations since COVID-19 restrictions went into effect in 2020.

It can be recalled that the Pasko Fiesta in 2020 was canceled, while the 2021 edition was held virtually. 

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