Ex-VP Binay: Money spent by Pinoys for face shields could have been used to buy food

Published June 18, 2021, 10:04 AM

by Jel Santos

The money used by ordinary Filipinos to purchase face shields could have been used to buy food and other essential items they need during the COVID-19 pandemic, former vice president Jejomar “Jojo” Binay said on Friday (June 18).

(Jojo Binay Facebook/Manila Bulletin)

“Buti sana kung libre ang face shields (It is okay if these face shields were given for free). But we are obliged, under pain of being penalized, to wear one. The money that ordinary Filipinos have spent on face shields could have been used to buy food and other basic needs,” he said.

“And we have been spending for something that has not been proven to give 100 percent added protection, as clearly shown by the debate even among people in government. Ano na ang latest, mga kuya (What’s new)?”

Binay said the national government changed its policy on face shields at least thrice on Thursday (June 17), and criticized it for lack of coordination.

“All they needed to do was coordinate. Pero ‘yun lang, hindi nagawa. Uulitin ko ang aking tanong noon: wala ba silang group chat (That’s the only thing they need to do, but they were unable to. I will repeat my question before: don’t they have a group chat)?”

The former vice president slammed the government for neglecting important things such as contact tracing, testing, and vaccination.

“Government response on these three critical areas remains inadequate. Kulang na kulang at kailangang mag-improve at yan ang sabi mismo ng World Bank (Very inadequate and has to be improved and that’s what the World Bank exactly said),” said Binay.

“Magtataka pa ba tayo kung bakit hanggang ngayon, mataas pa rin ang COVID-19 cases at tumataas pa sa labas ng NCR (Should we even wonder why until now our COVID-19 cases are still high, and that cases outside NCR continue to rise)?”

On Thursday, President Duterte said that face shields should only be worn in hospitals as announced by Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. This was later confirmed by Malacañang spokesperson Harry Roque.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) later announced that it will recommend to Duterte the mandatory use of face shields in enclosed or indoor spaces.