Davao City to 'discourage' use of burqa, face coverings in public
MANILA, Philippines – Davao City is planning to "discourage" the wearing of any face covering – including the Islamic garment burqa – in public places, the office of Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio confirmed Thursday, September 15.
Considered garments or accessories covering the face are "hats, sunglasses, face masks, mouth masks, burqa, face paint, and other similar things," Duterte Carpio said in a statement.
"While it is true that these garments are not disallowed by law, we discourage their use in public places," the mayor said, citing the opinion of law enforcement officers that this would be "a good security practice."
The statement also addressed the concerns on the use of the burqa.
"I understand the sentiments of our Muslim sisters with regard to the burqa," the Davao mayor said. "May I suggest that you wear the hijab which shows your face or cooperate with the security personnel and show your face if you are wearing the burqa."
"The general welfare of the majority takes precedence over religious tradition," the mayor said.
The proposal comes as Davao City continues to be under heightened security, following the September 2 bombing at the Roxas Avenue night market, which left 15 people dead and dozens others injured.
The measure also comes in the heels of controversial bans on facial coverings and Islamic clothing abroad, specifically in France, where a ban on the burkini swimwear is being challenged in court. – Rappler.com