Although Vice President Leni Robredo is relieved that President Duterte has finally decided fo halt the use of face shields outdoors, she warned against the possibility of going back on his word and confusing the public once more.
Speaking Sunday, Sept. 26 on her weekly radio show, Robredo noted that the government is known for backtracking on their policies, which further confuses the public about what rules are being enforced.
Admitting that she is not an “expert” on the use of face shields, Robredo’s only hope is for the government not to be indecisive when it comes to this policy because it has been a long-debated topic already.
“Sana lang hindi na urong-sulong…Sana hindi mixed iyong messaging. Kasi kung ano iyong sabi ng eksperto, sundin natin, pero ayusin natin iyong panukala, hindi iyong nalilito tayo ano ba talaga (Hopefully, there is no flip-flopping…Hopefully, there won’t be mixed messaging. Because what the experts said, let’s follow it, but let’s fix the policy, so we will not get confused),” she said.
Last week, Malacañang announced that the wearing of face shields will no longer be required in outdoor spaces. Those in indoor establishments such as malls and restaurants will still be required to wear them.
This came after a string of confusing policies back in June over the effectiveness of wearing face shields to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Duterte approved the recommendation of the Department of Health’s (DOH) technical advisory group (TAG) and medical experts not to require face shields outdoors.
The Philippines is only one of few countries that require the wearing of a face shield on top of a face mask. Limited studies suggest that wearing face shields gives an insignificant level of protection to the user.
Robredo herself is relieved that the country’s face shield policy is finally being put to rest but noted that some public offices already released statements that people should still bring their face shields with them at all times.
House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, a political ally of presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, made the call for the President to scrap the use of face shields. He said it is an added burden for Filipinos to buy face shields.