MANILA—The decision to lift the rule on using face shields depends on the recommendation of health experts, Metro Manila Council chairman and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said on Friday.
“Kami pong metro mayors hindi po expert sa pagdating po d'yan. Lagi po kaming humihingi ng recommendation sa ating mga health expert at base sa sinabi ni Sec. [Francisco] Duque, hindi pa tayo handang mag-alis ng ating face shield kasi hindi pa talaga marami ang naba-vaccine natin ng 2 dose,” said Olivarez.
(NCR mayors are not the experts as far as face shield use is concerned. We always seek health experts' advice. And as what Sec. Duque has said, we aren't ready to have the public remove their face shield because a lot of us haven't been vaccinated 2 doses.)
On Wednesday, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno urged national government to require face shields only at hospitals to lessen the "expenses and concerns" of the public. The Philippines, Moreno noted, seemed to be the only country requiring plastic face coverings.
But Olivarez echoed the views of health experts who said that wearing face masks and face shields give utmost protection against COVID-19.
“Kung may face mask at face shield tapos may social distancing po, 90 percent ang ating protection,” he said.
(Use a face mask and a face shield to go with social distancing, that give us a 90% protection.)
Meanwhile, Olivarez said the council has agreed to retain the 10 p.m. to 4 p.m. curfew while the National Capital Region remained under a general community quarantine. Changes in curfew hours would depend on the assessment of data from the Department of Health.
The GCQ status in the capital region is until June 15.
Olivarez said he also proposed that senior citizens who completed the 2 doses of vaccines against COVID-19 be allowed out.
“ ’Yan po ay pinag-usapan din namin. Ako po nag-raise n’yan kay Usec. [Undersecretary Mary Rosario] Vergeire na ’yung sana pong naka 2 dose na na mga senior citizens at merong silang tinatawag na vaccination pass ay payagan ’yung mga 65 and above. Pero wala pa hong sagot ang ating mga expert pero andyan po ang mungkahi natin para payagan po sila,” the mayor said.
(We raised this with Usec. Vergeire. If it's possible to allow senior citizens who have had 2 vaccine doses and who have a vaccination pass to head outdoors. That's what we want to happen, but experts haven't gotten back to us.)
As of Thursday, the Philippines logged a total of 1,247,899 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 55,790 active infections.
Olivarez said that it is not yet the time to relax, adding that the public must continue to observe minimum health and safety protocols.
“Hindi po natin kailangang mag-relax. Hindi natin kailangang ang surge (We can't relax. We don't need another virus surge),” he said.