Public urged to observe DOTr rules on use of face shields, masks

Malacañang has urged passengers using public transportation to follow the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) rule on wearing face shields for their own protection.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

The use of face shields alongside masks has been proven to help reduce a person’s exposure to coronavirus infection, according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

"It is within the jurisdiction of DOTr to require the wearing of face shields in public transportation. So, kinakailangan po sundin po natin iyan (so we must follow that)," he said during a televised press briefing Friday.

"Ang basehan po ng DOTr, siyensiya po. Napatunayan po na mas makakatulong na maiwasan ang paghawa sa COVID-19 kapag mayroon pong face shield sa mga pampublikong sasakyan bukod pa sa face mask (The basis of DOTr is science. It is proven that wearing a face shield apart from a mask can help prevent COVID-19 transmission in public transportation)," he said.

The transportation department has issued a memorandum circular ordering the mandatory use of face shields for passengers of any mode of public transportation starting August 15.  All heads of transportation sectors have been enjoined to implement the rule. 

The DOTr said the use of face shields and masks can considerably reduce exposure to and emission of respiratory droplets amid the pandemic.

Roque clarified that the use of face shields is so far required in public transportation. He said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) has merely "highly recommended" the use of face shields "everywhere else."

“Hindi pa naman po ito requirement na isuot all the time kahit saan. (It is still not a requirement to wear it all the time anywhere),” he said.