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San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora

San Juan supports optional wearing of face masks 

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San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora is backing Executive Order No. 3, Series of 2022, on the optional wearing of face masks in open spaces and outdoor areas, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

“I support this new policy simply because it is optional. Hindi naman tayo pinipilit, binibigyan lang tayo ng kalayaan na magdesisyon kapag tayo ay nasa outdoors. Puwede tayong magsuot ng (face) mask o kung pakiramdam natin sa sarili natin ay delikado ay manatili tayong magsuot ng mask (We are not being forced. The public has just been given the freedom to decide whether to wear their face masks or not whenever they are outdoors. We can still wear our face masks especially when we feel like we are in danger of contracting the virus),” Zamora said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

“Again, the word is optional, it is our option, mayroon tayong discretion kung sa palagay natin ay gusto natin o hindi magsuot ng mask (It is discretionary if we feel like we want to wear it or not). No one is forcing us,” he added.

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Zamora said San Juan City has an existing ordinance regarding the use of face masks which must first be amended, especially on the penalties to be imposed on those who are not wearing their masks.

“But then again, if you read the entire EO (No. 3) ay maliwanag naman dito na nakalagay na kapag outdoors na hindi matao o mayroong maayos na daloy ng hangin. So, mayroon pa ring instances kung saan outdoors nga ngunit maraming tao, so, kinakailangan pa ring magsuot ng face mask (But then again, if you read the entire EO (No. 3), it is clarified that there will still be instances where even if you are outdoors but has a high volume of people, it is still required to wear your face mask),” Zamora said.

“Inside business establishments, whether public or private facilities ay kinakailangan pa ring magsuot ng masks indoors, at ganun din po sa public transportation whether by land, air or sea (Inside business establishments, whether public or private facilities, you still need to wear your mask indoors. The same goes when you’re traveling via public transportation whether by land, air, or sea),” he added.

The local chief reminded the public to be responsible and get vaccinated against Covid-19.

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On Thursday, Sept. 15, Zamora announced that the city continues to lead in the Covid-19 vaccination program of all local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region (NCR) as of Sept. 12.

According to the Department of Health’s (DOH) Resbakuna data, San Juan City had already fully vaccinated 236,073 adults, equivalent to 243.35 percent.

A total of 10,574 individuals aged 5-11 years-old have also been vaccinated by the LGU against the virus. This is equivalent to 91.47 percent.

San Juan City also leads in the number of boosted adults against Covid-19 after inoculating 96,855 individuals with their first booster shot, equivalent to 101.07 percent.

On Aug. 15, Zamora underscored the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted against the virus.

“Well, we can see still that even fully vaccinated individuals get Covid, but what we should look at really is the severity of their condition. Let’s not focus just on the number of cases but let’s look at how many are severe, how many are critical, how many are mild to asymptomatic,” Zamora noted.

“Our hospital utilization rate is also low, where majority of Covid-19 patients in our hospitals are actually residents from other cities and provinces,” he added.

“We have gone to the extent of going house-to-house for our booster vaccination. In fact, I have acted as an ambassador for the vaccination program. I believe as mayor, it is my duty to push for a high vaccination rate. This is something we have achieved. We remain to be number one in terms of number of fully vaccinated individuals in relation to our target population and also in the administration of the first booster,” the mayor said.

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