Speaker Lord Allan Velasco welcomed on Thursday, Sept. 23 the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to relax the mandatory requirement for the wearing of face shields.
Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles joined Velasco in lauding Duterte who on Wednesday declared that face shields will no longer be required outdoors.
Duterte’s pronouncement came a day after Velasco wrote the chief executive a letter appealing for a reconsideration of the mandatory face shield regulation.
Velasco said “we fully support his (Duterte) continuing effort to come up with policies that aim to unburden our kababayans (countrymen) during these trying times.”
“We sincerely thank the President for heeding the advice of medical experts to limit the use of plastic face coverings in “3 Cs”—closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings. This is a step in the right direction given the absence of solid medical proof that face shields are effective against the transmission of the deadly coronavirus,” said the House leader.
“This latest policy on the use of face shields would somehow ease the financial burden of poor Filipino families whose livelihood were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, considering that the mandatory requirement takes away the money for food from these families,” he stated.
Velasco added: “It would also help reduce the environmental impact of face shields, which contribute to the growing problem of plastic pollution.” Earlier, Nograles reacted to Velasco’s suggestion to Duterte.
“This is a good suggestion by the Speaker which we hope the IATF will consider given the current economic situation,” the Rizal solon stated.
In his letter to the chief executive, Velasco pointed out that the “use of face shields has made little difference in protecting against the transmission of COVID-19 over the proper use of masks alone.”
He noted that the World Health Organization, as well as the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommend the use of eye protection, such as goggles and face shields, only for those providing direct care to patients with COVID-19.
Velasco said that studies conducted by physician-researchers of Wayne State University School of Medicine indicate that combining the use of face shields and masks made little difference over the use of masks alone.