Face Masks at Work Now Voluntary, DOLE Issues Advisory

Mandatory Use of Face Mask in the Philippines
ILLUSTRATOR Warren Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Companies can now make voluntary the wearing of face masks in the workplace, the country's labor chief said Wednesday, November 2, as more pandemic restrictions are eased nationwide.

Wearing of face masks however remains mandatory in healthcare facilities, medical transport vehicles such as ambulances, and public transport based on the Department of Labor and Employment's advisory.

Also read: How to Say "No" When Your Boss Asks You to Return to Office

The new advisory is based on President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s order that made the wearing of face masks optional in indoor spaces according to Labor Sec. Bienvenido Laguesma.

"Essentially, ang sinasabi namin diyan, yung wearing [ng face mask] even in workplaces shall be voluntary except yung mga identified places," Laguesma said in an interview on Teleradyo.

Face Mask Rules Outdoors Philippines
PHOTO BY Shutter Stock/2p2play
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But your boss can still require you to mask up

Laguesma said companies can still require employees to wear face masks in the workplace should they see existing health risks such as poor ventilation.

"Pwede sila (private companies) mag-implement ng policy na mag-require ng wearing ng face mask kung ang sitwasyon o kalagayan sa kumpanya nila ay may mga hazard o risk na makikita nila," Laguesma said.

"Dapat ang karapatan kasi mayroon  din na obligasyon na hindi lamang para sa sarili mo kundi para sa kasamahan mong mga manggagawa," he added.

Employees are also reminded to continue practicing minimum health standards such as frequent hand washing to avoid the spread of disease.

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