MANILA – It is not the right time yet to lift the government's order for the public to wear face shields, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Thursday.
"Hindi pa po panahon para tanggalin ang face shield dahil di pa po tayo nakakalabas sa pandemya. Pangalawa, wala pa po tayo sa tinatawag na herd protection or public protection na makukuha natin sa (pamamagitan ng) 50 million vaccinations (This is not the time yet to remove the face shield requirement because we are still in a pandemic. Second, we still do not have what we call herd protection or public protection which we can get through 50 million vaccinations)," Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a Laging Handa briefing.
Malaya said the use of face shields provides an additional layer of protection against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
He added that if the face shield rule will be scrapped, it has to be replaced with another precautionary measure to prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases, which includes intensified vaccination.
"Again, we will be guided by science in all of our decisions. I am sure that the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) and the DOH (Department of Health) will study this very carefully," he added.
On Wednesday, Manila Mayor Francisco 'Isko Moreno' Domagoso urged the government to scrap the policy requiring the use of face shields in public places and called the measure burdensome and unnecessary.
"He (Domagoso) is not demanding this, he is just suggesting na siguro panahon na para tanggalin ang (that is now time to remove the) face shield. Now I am sure na ito pong suhestiyon nito ay pag-aaralang mabuti ng (that this suggestion will be studied well by the) IATF dahil (because) it comes from the mayor of the principal city, the capital city of the Philippines with 2.2 million residents," Malaya added.
Under Resolution 88 issued in December last year, the IATF requires people to wear face shields “whenever (they) go out of their residences.”
Following the lifting of some restrictions on leisure travel, Malaya also reminded tourism establishments to comply with the required operational capacity in their areas.
He added that under a recent memorandum circular issued by the DILG, village officials and watchmen can enter and inspect resorts and other leisure facilities to prevent pool parties, drinking sessions and other forms of mass gathering.
Travelers are also reminded to know the entry requirements of LGUs to avoid inconvenience.
On Tuesday, the Department of Tourism (DOT) confirmed that leisure travel from the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus to destinations under the modified general community quarantine has been allowed.
Such travel, however, must be point-to-point only, which means that while pit stops or stopovers are allowed for eating and personal necessities, no side trips shall be made to other tourism destinations.
The DOT added that those below 18 and above 65 years old will be subject to an RT-PCR test before travel. (PNA)