President Bongbong Marcos is considering making the wearing of face masks optional in the country as he called on local government heads to ramp up their efforts to inoculate the public with booster shots against COVID-19.
Speaking before mayors and governors on Friday as he started his isolation after getting COVID-19, Marcos said a booster rollout is important for the resumption of face-to-face classes and the full reopening of the economy.
"Let us return to the idea of what we did last year na magkaroon ulit ng vaccine rollout. Gawin na natin ito para makatiyak na tayo," Marcos said.
"At pagka maging matagumpay ang ating booster rollout ay makikita naman natin siguro pwede na nating ibaba ang mga alert level, puwede na nating gawing optional ang mask," he added.
Marcos said the lowering of the alert levels and the lifting of mandatory wearing of face masks will only happen if it's safe to do so.
"Although so far maganda naman ang takbo, hindi naman napupuno ang mga ospital. Ngunit kung hindi tayo maingat, mapupunta na naman tayo doon,” he said.
The government is aiming to resume full face-to-face classes by November this year, but along with this proposal is the challenge to ensure that Filipinos are protected against COVID-19 through vaccination.
"Yung booster will be the one that will be the answer for us na makabalik na tuloy-tuloy makabalik na sa opening of our society, opening of our economy, opening of our businesses. Yun naman talaga naman ang habol nating lahat," Marcos said.
Marcos tested positive for COVID-19 in an antigen test last Friday. His condition has since improved with only mild symptoms as he continues to give out directives to his Cabinet officials, Malacañang said.