Go commends Duterte for decision to limit usage of face shields

Published September 24, 2021, 9:15 AM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, chairman of the Senate Health committee, on Friday, Sept. 24 commended President Duterte for deciding to limit the use of face shields to only high-risk activities following the recommendation from the Department of Health Technical Advisory Group.

Suportado ko rin po ang unti-unting pagluwag ng ating mga patakaran lalo na sa mga nabakunahan na upang makatulong sa pagpapaunlad ng ating ekonomiya (I also support the eventual easing of our guidelines especially for the vaccinated [individuals] so they could help in the development of our economy). Isa na rito ang paglilimita sa paggamit ng face shields upang makahinga nang konti ang mga Pilipino at mapagaan ang hirap na kanilang dinadala(This includes the limited usage of face shields in order to lessen the difficulties of the Filipinos),” he said.

Ang pangunahing proteksyon naman natin ay ang mask at ang bakuna (Our primary protection are the mask and the vaccines). Dagdag na proteksyon ang face shield pero pwede nang hindi gawing mandatory ‘yan kung kung hindi naman crowded, hindi naman closed space, at wala namang close contact, o ang tinatawag ng mga eksperto na 3Cs (The use of face shield is an added protection but it is no longer mandatory except in a crowded area, closed space, and in close contacts or what the experts called the 3Cs),” he explained.

According to Go, wearing face shields may be considered non-mandatory in low-risk activities, especially for fully vaccinated individuals, as the government accelerates its vaccine rollout.

He went on to say that wearing a mask remains the primary protection for the public to protect themselves from COVID-19.

In his Talk to the People address on Wednesday, September 22, Duterte said that face shields will only be required in areas that are crowded, closed, or when in close contact with other people.

Pwede na tanggalin sa labas. No more face shields outside (You can now remove [the face shield] when you are outdoor. No more face shields outside). Sa 3Cs, face shield is a must. Labas sa tatlo, pwede na hindi gumamit nito (However, in the 3Cs, the face shield is a must),” Duterte said.

The President had initially stated his willingness to limit the usage of face shields as early as June, suggesting that they should only be worn in hospitals.

But after the Department of Health validated the first few cases of the infectious Delta variety, Duterte decided to implement it further as an additional precautionary measure.

Sa lahat ng desisyon ng gobyerno, palagi nating inuuna ang kaligtasan ng buhay ng ating mga kababayan (In all the decision of the government, we always prioritized the safety of the lives of our countrymen). Ayaw natin ilagay sa alanganin ang kapakanan ng mga Pilipino kaya nag-iingat tayo (We do not want to compromise the welfare of the Filipinos and we are careful) ,” Go explained.

Duterte defended the policy, saying “(W)ith the kind of aggressive infection that poses a very grave danger to…it’s a small inconvenience, actually. I know that it is inconvenient really to be wearing the mask (and face shield), adjusting it from time to time. But that is only a very small price to pay than rather gamble with doing away with it and courting disaster.”

After the approval of the new face shield-wearing policy, face shields will now be limited to mandatory use in high-risk activities under the so-called “3 Cs” (closed, crowded and close contact) framework.

These include activities in settings wherein there is exposure risk such as those that may need close contact based on nature of work. Also included are those prone to crowding such as establishments, public transportation, indoor spaces, personal care services, and other similar instances and places where high risk of infection is possible or present.