MANILA – Malacañang on Friday backed the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) move to require all commuters nationwide to wear face shields, apart from face masks, beginning August 15 to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a virtual press conference, said the DOTr based its decision on “science.”
“Napatunayan po na mas makakatulong po na maiwasan ang paghawa sa Covid-19 kapag meron pong face shield sa mga pampublikong sasakyan bukod pa po sa face mask (It has been proven that the transmission of Covid-19 could be prevented when you wear face shield, aside from face mask, in areas where public transportation is allowed),” Roque said.
On August 4, the DOTr issued a memorandum circular, directing all transportation sectors to mandate all passengers within their respective jurisdictions to wear face shields.
The directive applies to all public transportation nationwide, including the aviation and airports, railways, road, and maritime sectors.
The initiative intends to give commuters additional protection against Covid-19, as health authorities have noted that the use of face shields and face masks reduces exposure to the disease.
Roque told the public to comply with the DOTr’s latest order.
“It is within the jurisdiction of DOTr to require the wearing of face shields in public transportation. So kinakailangan po, sundin po natin iyan (So we have to follow that),” he said.
Roque, however, clarified that the mandatory wearing of face shields is only applicable to areas where public transportation is allowed.
In other public spaces, people are just “highly” encouraged to wear face shields, he said.
“Hindi pa naman po ito requirement na isuot all the time kahit saan (It is still not a requirement to wear it all the time anywhere),” Roque said.
On July 31, Malacañang announced a plan to order the mandatory use of face shields to complement the wearing of face masks in low ventilation settings, including public transportation.
There is still no order compelling the public to wear face shields whenever they leave their homes. (PNA)