DOTr mulls seeking price cap on face shields
MANILA -- A requirement for travelers to use face shields apart from their anti-virus masks applies to all modes of public transport across the country, an official said Thursday, as authorities continue to fight the spread of COVID-19.
The shield should cover the entire face and will be mandatory starting Aug. 15, said Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddess Hope Libiran.
“Ito po ay hindi lang magiging applicable sa Metro Manila—sa buong bansa po ito,” she told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo. “Ito po ay applicable sa lahat ng modes of public transportation… maging mga barko, ganoon din po sa eroplano.”
(This will be applicable not just in Metro Manila—but the whole country. It is applicable in all modes of public transportation, even ships and airplanes.)
The rule also applies to the MRT and LRT as well as tricycles, she added.
Bikes are not considered as public transportation, but its riders are "highly encouraged" to use face shields, too, she said.
One has a 94 percent chance of dodging coronavirus infection by wearing masks and practicing physical distancing, a probability raised to 99 percent if one also uses a face shield, Libiran said, quoting health experts.
"Alam naman po natin na iyong public transportation po ay napakalaki ang potential na maging transmission vector ng virus... Malaki po iyong risk kasi hindi mo naman po kilala o hindi mo alam iyong history ng travel ng iba mong mga kasama," said the official.
(We know that public transportation has a big potential to be a transmission vector of the virus. The risk is big because you don't know the travel history of the people you are with.)
"Sana po isipin nating lahat na no amount of protection is too much when it comes to health and safety, especially po ang kinakalaban natin ay isang invisible enemy," she added.
(I hope we all understand that no amount of protection is too much when it comes to health and safety, especially since we are fighting an invisible enemy.)
Libirian said her agency might ask the trade department to put a price cap for reusable face shields, which some stores sell for P25 to P30. She urged sellers to refrain from abusing the mandatory face shield rule to raise its price.
"Pare-pareho naman po tayong apektado at nagsasakripisyo dito sa COVID-19," she said.
(We are all affected and sacrificing against COVID-19.)
Public transport is currently suspended in Metro Manila and 4 surrounding provinces that are under the second strictest lockdown until Aug. 18.