IATF drafting guidelines on face shield use- DILG exec

Published September 25, 2021, 3:39 PM

by Chito Chavez

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is now drafting new regulations on the use of face shields following President Duterte’s order to ease the restriction of its use in open spaces.

This was revealed on Saturday, Sept. 25 by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III in an interview over GMA News.

On Sept. 22, President Duterte announced that the use of face shields will not be required in open spaces but will remain mandated in areas classified as ‘3Cs’ which refers to closed places, crowded locations and areas where there are close contacts.

DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya on Sept. 24 urged the public to bring face shields when leaving their residence as this might prove handy in previously unplanned visits in enclosed and crowded places like malls, wet markets, drugstores and supermarkets.

In an interview over ABS-CBN, Malaya said “mas maganda magdala pa rin ng face shield, ’yun nga lang hindi na naman natin kailangang isuot ito most of the time kung tayo ay nasa outdoor setting ( It is better to bring face shield. Even if we do not have to wear them most of the time if we are in an outdoor setting).’’

The DILG spokesperson also stressed that the President’s new directive is not complicated as the public will now decide when to wear face shields.

“Kailangang magdala po tayo (face shield) kasi hindi natin alam kung saan tayo pupunta. For example, pauwi na tayo tapos sabihin natin bibili tayo ng gamot so hindi tayo papapasukin ng guard kung wala tayong face shield dahil magiging closed at crowded area yung pupuntahan natin (We need to bring face shield since we do not know where we are going. For example on our way home we decide to buy medicine then we will be barred entry by the guard (of the drugstore) if we do not have face shields since we are going inside a closed and crowded area),’’ Malaya said.

He noted that the sub-technical working group and the Department of Health (DOH) are currently in a meeting to come up with simple regulations to inform the public where to wear face shields.

“Kailangang magkaroon ng adjustment. ’Yung Department of Health minimum public health standard gagawan natin ng adjustment. ’Yung mga ordinansa ng mga local government units kung may mga penalties sila kailangan iadjust ito para mag-conform dito sa bagong naging direktiba ng ating pangulo (There needs to be adjustments. Adjustments will be made for the DOH’s minimum public health standards. The ordinances of the local government units if there are penalties need to be adjusted to conform with the President’s new directive),’’ Malaya noted.