The Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) have elected to keep the mandatory face shield use policy in place, citing the need for continued caution amidst the ongoing Covid19 pandemic.
These statements come as a response to Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso’s recent suggestion to the national government that they cease mandating the general public’s use of face shields, in order to ease expenses and promote less hindered foot traffic for local businesses.
He added that the Philippines seems to be the sole remaining country implementing the use of face shields as a preventive measure against Covid19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), face shields are not substitutes for properly worn face masks of recommended type, as respiratory droplets will be able to enter via the large gaps of a face shield.
However, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III warned that with the country’s current percentage of fully vaccinated individuals (1.5% as of June 7), forgoing face shields at this juncture is not an option.
Duque also mentioned that studies have indicated face shields as an additional layer of protection against contracting Covid19, but only when properly worn face masks and social distancing, are simultaneously in play.
Furthermore, both the DILG secretary and undersecretary supported Duque’s stance on maintaining face shield use in public.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año spoke about how Covid19 cases in the country remain numerous and on the increase, while undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that should face shields be scrapped, another protective measure must be implemented in its place.
As of June 8, a total of 56,452 Covid19 infections remain active in the country, with 4,777 additional cases recorded that day.