PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte lifted Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, the mandatory outdoor use of face shield but said it is still required in areas that are “closed and crowded.”
Duterte ordered the immediate issuance of “implementation guidelines” regarding the new policy.
Resolution 88 of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases issued on Dec. 14, 2020, required the wearing of face shield “whenever persons go out of their residences” as added protection against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The policy has been the subject of discussions as some said it has no scientific basis and only adds cost to the people.
Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) deputy chief implementer Councilor Joel Garganera welcomed the development noting that people outdoors were “not really” properly wearing their faceshields.
“What’s more, it’s also cost-effective for everyone. And for us, it’s always been the same as before—wear your masks, observe social distancing, avoid social gatherings and crowds, and wash your hands regularly,” Garganera said.
However, he appealed that all public utility vehicles should still require the use of face shields for commuters during travel.
For his part, acting Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said Duterte’s pronouncement was “heartwarming.”
“I find the pronouncement quite heartwarming and now less burdensome for everybody. As well as removal, it being mocked when not properly worn. Especially when it’s being made as a head band,” Rama said in a text message to SunStar Cebu.
Medellin Mayor Joven Mondigo also said the new rule will lighten the burden on his constituents since the purchase of face shields was another expense.
Mondigo said the wearing of masks along with vaccination can contain the virus just like what happened in other countries.
“And those who want an added protection, on their own option, they can continue wearing faceshield,”
Borbon Mayor Noel Dotillos also favors the “no face shield” except for enclosed and crowded places.
“I’m totally okay with that. People just have to follow health protocols like social distancing and the like,”
Meanwhile, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Felix Taguiam said it has become a habit for people to have a mask and faceshield.
“If the bearer doesn’t mind, it would just be added protection. We may as well do the same till the virus will be gone forever,” he said.
“We will comply with what is mandated. We are glad that face shields are not required anymore outdoors. It eases the inconveniences that faceshields cause, and it is a sigh of relief for the community,”
Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Steven Yu, for his part, said.
Department of Health Central Visayas (DOH 7) epidemiologist Eugenia Canal said the improper wearing of face shields and people failing to comply with the face shield mandate could be a factor why Duterte lifted the policy except for areas that are enclosed or crowded.
Canal said some studies showed face shields attributed to a lowering of Covid-19 transmissions, however the studies only used a few respondents which cannot be considered valid.
“Because the studies did not really use much of the population, the result was not really significant,” Canal said. (SunStar Philippines. WBS, JOB )