Cebu City to drop face shield use in malls, traditional jeepneys

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CEBU City Acting Mayor Michael Rama will lift the requirement to wear face shields inside establishments such as malls and traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJ).

Rama is scheduled to issue a directive Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, to allow people to enter establishments even without a face shield but it would still be mandatory to wear a face mask.

“For air-conditioned transportation, the face shield requirement stays, but the malls won’t need that anymore because these are not crowded places. The places that require face shields are hospitals, laboratories and other crowded places,” Rama said.

The decision was made during a meeting convened by Rama of the various sectors of the community that included officials from the Emergency Operations Center on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021.

Rama said the use of face shields will no longer be required in TPUJ, which is similar to what is being enforced in Davao City now.

TPUJs are open-type, non-airconditioned vehicles with no doors.

Rama’s decision came after Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of the Interior and Local Government revealed that in accordance with Section 16 of the Local Government Code of 1991, local chief executives can make ordinances or executive orders for the benefit of the people.

Año’s statement contradicted Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque Jr.’s statement that Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso’s order Monday to drop the use of the face shield except in hospitals and other medical settings could be “null and void” because the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases had yet to decide on dropping the mandatory use of the face shields.

Felix Taguiam, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, earlier said the group would abide by whatever directive Cebu City would implement on the use of the face shield.

Prior to this, the acting mayor had empowered the business sector to decide whether they should require the use of face shields in their establishments after presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio first implemented this in Davao City.

On Nov. 2, Duterte-Carpio had issued an executive order making the wearing of face shields in 3Cs settings voluntary.

This, after the IATF, in September, lifted the mandatory wearing of face shields while outdoors, limiting its use to 3Cs settings: crowded places, closed contact settings and closed spaces.

Rama said the curfew would remain in Cebu City from 11:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. the next day.

The vaccination bubble, where only individuals fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are allowed to dine inside enclosed establishments, would also stay.

Last Monday, Secretary Año said the local government units’ order against the mandatory use of face shields cannot be considered null and void because they have the authority to make such a directive.

In an interview with reporters in the sidelines of the arrival of the Sputnik V vaccines at the Villamor Airbase Monday, Año added: “Look at Metro Manila, now Alert Level 2, at low risk na tayo ngayon (and we are now at low risk). So puwede na ‘yang mga ganyan (So that’s now allowed). Actually, kino-consider ‘yan sa IATF kaya lang kinapos lang ng time sa dami ng issues (that’s being considered by the IATF, but it just lacked time to decide on this due to the many issues),” he added. (TPM / SunStar Philippines)

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