Duterte wants mandatory use of face shields limited to hospitals – Sotto

Published June 17, 2021, 10:05 AM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

President Duterte has agreed that face shields should only be worn in hospitals.

In this photo taken on September 19, 2020, people wearing face shields queue up at a public market in Manila. (TED ALJIBE/AFP)

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said this came up during their meeting in Malacañang on Wednesday night, June 16. Other senators were also in their meeting.

“Last night, the President agreed that face shields should only be used in hospitals. Allowed us to remove ours! [Attention] DOH!” Sotto tweeted on Thursday morning, June 17.

Last night, the President agreed that face shields should only be used in hospitals. Allowed us to remove ours! Attn DOH!

— Tito Sotto (@sotto_tito) June 16, 2021

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said the face shield policy was briefly discussed before ceremonial signing of bills, when Duterte allowed them not to wear it so they can hear each other.

He said “the President acknowledged that we’re probably one of a very few countries that use them and said that its more needed in situations such as hospitals or high risk areas and jobs.”

Zubiri, however, clarified that “this was an off the cuff discussion and not officially discussed on stage or with the public.”

He added that their meeting yesterday was “unique” since they all tested negative for coronavirus in their antigen test before seeing the President.

“That made everyone absolutely safe in that particular moment,” he noted.

For his part, Senator Joel Villanueva, who was also in the meeting with the President, confirmed this information.

“I second the motion. I was there,” Villanueva also tweeted.

During the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing on Tuesday, June 15, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III maintained the importance of wearing face shields against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

He said fears of the COVID-19 infection will be addressed once a significant number of Filipinos have already been vaccinated.

Sotto has been asking the government should consider lifting the face shield policy, saying the Philippines is the only country that requires its use outside homes.

Its effectiveness as a protection against the coronavirus is “not proven”, he earlier told reporters.