VOLUNTARY. Go Negosyo founder and Private Sector Advisory Council lead for jobs Joey Concepcion (left) in a recent meeting with President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (right). On Monday (Sept. 12, 2022), Marcos signed Executive Order No. 3 allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings. (Photo courtesy of Go Negosyo)

MANILA – Go Negosyo founder and Private Sector Advisory Council lead for jobs Joey Concepcion has welcomed Executive Order (EO) No. 3 that now allows the non-mandatory wearing of face masks in outdoor settings.

“We are moving to a new phase, one where Filipinos can manage their own risks, and where our approach now shifts to making sure we have mitigation strategies in place,” Concepcion said in a statement Monday.

Last week, Concepcion aired his support to the move of the local government unit of Cebu to lift mandatory wearing of face masks in outdoor places, saying that risks of getting coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in areas with good ventilation are low compared to an indoor setting.

“I think it is the right time to accept the fact that Covid-19 is going to be here for quite some time. So we cannot wear face mask outdoors all the time,” he said then.

Concepcion said the government should now shift its focus to procuring antiviral medicines.

“We should ensure that we have enough supply of antiviral pills, especially Paxlovid, which we are currently out of stock in the country. This will become crucial as people start moving around without masks outdoors,” he added.

He reiterated that being in a pandemic for over two years, Filipinos now know how to protect themselves from contracting Covid-19.

Concepcion reminded Filipinos to only remove face masks in outdoor places but continue to wear them in indoor settings like public transportation and healthcare facilities, as well as when around vulnerable members of the population, such as the elderly, very young children, and those with comorbidities. (PNA)