`Wearing face mask not optional’


The wearing of face mask is still a must at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City.

This was stressed by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, in response to the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to lift the mandatory wearing of face masks in outdoor areas.

As soon as there is an executive order issued by Malacañang to make optional the use of face masks while outdoors, Lacson said it will be implemented by the provincial government of Negros Occidental.

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson

Department of Health officer-in-charge, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, has clarified that the total lifting of the mask mandate would be pilot-tested toward the end of the year, provided that there is an improvement in the COVID-19 booster vaccine coverage.

Lacson reminded Negrenses that it is still a requirement to use face masks indoors.

Negros Occidental logged 25 new COVID infections Friday, bringing to 162 the total number of active cases, with 44 recoveries.

With the resumption of the face-to-face MassKara Festival celebration in Bacolod, the city government and provincial government are strengthening efforts to monitor the entry of visitors, either in ports or at the Bacolod-Silay Airport.

Asked on the optional wearing of face masks, Lacson said the provincial government has been relying on advises and guidelines from the DOH and the IATF-EID since the start of the pandemic.

“If they say we are okay, then we’re okay, at least for outdoors,” he said./GB