Cities of Iloilo, Manila ditch mandatory use of face shields

Don’t worry — the IATF is mulling the same for the rest of the country too.

Cities of Iloilo, Manila ditch mandatory use of face shields
(Image: REUTERS/Lisa Marie David)

Days after Malacañang pronounced the de-escalation of Metro Manila to Alert Level 2 due to decreasing daily COVID-19 caseload, a couple of cities have decided to ditch the mandatory use of face shields.

Iloilo City

On Thursday, November 4, Iloilo City mayor Jerry Treñas issued an executive order that wrote off the city-wide curfew as well as the implementation of the city’s face shield ordinance.

Per Executive Order No.132-A, series of 2021, an increase to 70% capacity on public transportation shall complement the lifting of curfew to help revive the city’s economy. “We will lift the curfew starting tomorrow so we could have more economic activity, more employment opportunities would be allowed, and we can gradually go back to normal,” said Treñas.

In a letter addressed to the Iloilo City Council, the local chief executive also highlighted the halt of the mandatory use of face shields, citing that it has “not been proven effective” in preventing the transmission of COVID-19 through cough aerosols.

“Moreover, the suspension of the mandatory use of face shields, or at the very least, the gradual exclusion of the mandatory wearing of the same in some public places provides a semblance of normalcy allowing our people to go about their endeavors more comfortable and efficiently,” Treñas also argued in his letter.

Until the city council decides on Treñas’ plea, the ordinance will technically remain in effect, though it will not be implemented for the time being.

City of Manila

The City of Manila also announced on Monday that the use of face shields will now be “non-mandatory” in any public area save for medical and hospital facilities.

According to Executive Order No. 4, series of 2021, signed by Manila mayor Isko Moreno, the wearing of face shields will only be mandatory within “hospital setting, medical clinics, and other medical facilities.”

“Ang kailangan na lang nating gawin ay mag face mask para kahit paano maibsan ang inyong gastusin araw-araw dahil sa face shield na yan,” Moreno told the press on Monday morning.

“Siguro naman sa dami ng pag-aaral sa mundo, ang face shield ay wala naman talagang bisa. Ito ay nakadadagdag lang sa basura,” he added.

The Executive Order also cited the position by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año to cease the mandatory use of face shields, a stance that he promised to propose to the government’s COVID-19 inter-agency task force for nationwide implementation.

Meanwhile, in a separate press statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque clarified that until such a pronouncement has been made, the mandatory use of face shields will remain in effect everywhere else.

Art Daniella Sison

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