Pateros mayor says use of face shields in municipality ‘optional’

Published November 12, 2021, 4:13 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

Pateros Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III said the use of face shields in the municipality is “optional” outdoors but required in indoor spaces.

Ponce made the announcement ahead of the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) regarding its use.

Pateros Mayor Miguel Ponce III (left) and a woman wearing a face shield (Screenshot from Pateros video, Lea Ramilo)

“In our municipality, we made it optional when you are outside but if you are inside establishments in groceries, supermarkets, eating establishments, you still need to wear face shields and we require it,” said the mayor, who signed an executive order on the use of face shields in Pateros.

He said Metro Manila mayors including him signed a resolution led by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos recommending to the IATF to scrap the use of face shields except in hospitals, health centers and public utility vehicles.

Pending the IATF resolution, Ponce said, people in Pateros are required to use face shields in enclosed establishments.

“We are waiting for the decision of the IATF based on the recommendation of mayors in the National Capital Region,” he said.

As of Nov. 9, Pateros has 79 active coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases including 13 new cases out of 7,857 confirmed cases, 7,673 recoveries and 101 deaths. Of the 79 active cases, 56 are asymptomatic and 23 have mild cases.

Several mayors in Metro Manila have issued rules, either through executive orders or ordinance, scrapping the use of face shields.

Interior Sec. Eduardo Año said mayors and local government units have the power to issue executive orders and ordinances under Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991.

In September, President Rodrigo Duterte decided to do away with face shields except in situations and places under 3Cs–closed, crowded and close contact.