Mandatory use of face shields 'overkill' - Imee

Senator Imee R. Marcos, chairwoman of the Senate economic affairs, today said it is not too late for the government to modify its mandatory requirement for commuters and employees to start wearing face shields in addition to using face masks on Saturday.

Senator Imee R. Marcos
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“It could be localized or voluntary, but mandatory is an overkill," she said. "Which other country has imposed face shields and made their use with face masks mandatory?”

Marcos also cautioned the government against profiteers taking advantage of the directive.

“Identify the importers and local suppliers of face shields and find out if they have any connections with officials in the health, transportation, labor, and trade and industry departments who might profit from their domestic sale,” she said.

“Suddenly, we already have SRPs (suggested retail prices) for face shields, but no official public guidelines on product quality and proper labeling to protect consumers. Are they for single or multiple use, how are they to be cleaned, are materials inflammable, what precautions must the user take?”

Prior, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned the wearing of face masks “may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency, or introduce significant safety concerns.”

Marcos said, “Besides the sheer discomfort, wearing a face shield over a face mask might suffocate those with medical conditions like high-blood pressure, heart ailments, or asthma? How long before office and factory workers can take a break after long hours enduring a lack of oxygen?”

“If the virus is indeed airborne, face shields with open edges may be of little use in workplaces that are enclosed and where the air that circulates is recycled,” she added.