MANILA - If the use of face shields would remain mandatory whether in outdoor or indoor spaces, officials must also adhere to these protocols, Senator Nancy Binay said Tuesday.
Authorities who are supposed to implement the measure must follow the protocol, Binay said, as the government faced criticisms on its varying face shield policies.
"There's a disconnect when we require yung mga ordinaryong kababayan natin to wear face shield pero may nakikita tayong who’s supposed to be implementing those guidelines na di nagsusuot ng face shield. Kumbaga let us practice what we preach," she said.
(There's a disconnect when we require ordinary people to wear face shield when we can see those who are supposed to be implementing those guidelines not wearing it. Let us practice what we preach.)
Face shields give additional protection but its wearing should not be made mandatory, she added.
The Philippines is the only country in the world that has made face shield mandatory but it does not reflect on its COVID-19 statistics, added Binay.
"Since tayo lang ang may protocol making it mandatory, how come ang numbers natin hindi maganda? For example, sa Western Pacific region ng WHO, we’re number 1 in active cases, number 1 in total cases, and number 1 sa mga namatayan so parang may disconnect," she told ANC's Headstart.
(Since we're the only country with a protocol making it mandatory, how come our numbers are not good? For example, in the WHO Western Pacific region, we’re number 1 in active cases, number 1 in total cases, and number 1 in deaths so there seems to be a disconnect.)
As of Monday, the Philippines leads the WHO-Western Pacific Region in terms of total COVID-19 infections at 1,359,015, daily cases at 5,803, and deaths at 23,621, according to its official website.
Filipinos might not follow the proper disinfection and disposal of face shields if its wearing is made mandatory, the senator added.
"Di ko alam kung nasusunod ng kababayan natin ang protocol...parang magiging useless din kung 3 buwan na palang ginagamit ang face shield nang di nalilinis," she said.
(I don't know if the public follows protocol...It might become useless if they have been using the same face shield for 3 months without cleaning it.)
Vaccine supply is also an urgent problem than vaccine hesitancy, the senator said following President Rodrigo Duterte's order to arrest those unwilling to get the jab.
When asked if COVID-19 vaccination should be made mandatory, Binay said, "I guess that is something to be explored. Ang kailangan lang naman natin 70 percent. That is something for us to ask the medical experts."
(We only need 70 percent population to be vaccinated.)
The Philippines aims to vaccinate at least 58 million individuals this year to achieve herd protection against the coronavirus. A total of 8,407,342 jabs have been administered nationwide as of Sunday, government said.
The senator also believes quarantine should still be mandatory even for those fully-vaccinated but it should be made shorter if they come from a low-risk country.
"I don’t agree na walang (that there should be no_ quarantine, we still need to do that lalo na (especially) with these new variants," she said.
"Baka we can do that, pag fully-vaccinated ka at galing ka sa low-risk area, maybe you can do na lang 5-7 days na quarantine."
(Maybe we can do that, if you're fully-vaccinated and you come from a low-risk area, maybe you can do 5-7 days quarantine.)