Duterte declares face shields mandatory… again

Published June 21, 2021, 7:40 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Hours after the announcement that it would no longer be required outdoors, President Duterte gave in to local health experts and declared the wearing of face shields, both indoors and outdoors, is mandatory again.

In this photo taken on September 19, 2020, people are seen wearing face shields as they queue up at a public market in Manila. (Ted Aldine /AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement ahead of President Duterte’s weekly public address where the policy on shield-wearing was expected to be discussed.

In a tweet on Monday evening, Roque said that Duterte’s decision was made as a precaution against the Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a strain first discovered in India.

“Acting on the advice of health experts and in view of the Delta variant, PRRD declared that the wearing of face shields, both indoor and outdoor, is still mandatory,” Roque tweeted on June 21.

On Thursday last week, Malacañang confirmed that President Duterte preferred that people only be required to wear face shields in hospitals. However, the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases was opposed to easing the rules on wearing face shields and appealed that the rule is kept, especially indoors.

In his press briefing on the afternoon of June 21, Roque said that the wearing of face shields is no longer required outdoors, saying the government’s pandemic task force only appealed that it be required indoors.

“Ang malinaw po ganito: Hindi na kailangan ng face shield sa labas kasi hindi naman po ‘yan inapila ng IATF (What’s clear is this: Face shields are no longer required outdoors because that is not what the IATF appealed),” Roque said.

“Ang inapila lang ng IATF yung pagsusuot ng face shield sa loob, kasama na sa mga malls, commercial establishments, at pampublikong transportasyon (What the IATF appealed was the wearing of face shield indoors including malls, commercial establishments, and public transportation),” he added.

Netizens, however, were not pleased with the government’s seeming indecisiveness about the issue.

“Atras abante na naman. Lagi naman. Ano pang bago (They’re flip-flopping again, as always. What’s new)?” a Twitter user asked.

“They can’t even make their minds about their own policies LMAO (laughing my ass off),” another netizen thought.

“1 baby step forward, 10 huge steps backwards hanggang matumba (until we fall over),” one Twitter user said.