Manila lifts mandatory use of face shields, except in hospitals

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 08 2021 09:14 AM | Updated as of Nov 08 2021 10:53 AM

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MANILA (UPDATE) - The City of Manila has lifted the mandatory use of face shields in the capital city, except in hospitals, the city mayor said Monday.

Manila's City Council is set to sign Executive Order No. 42 to formalize the policy on November 8, the mayor's staff said.

"It's not mandatory anymore... para naman sa ganoon, maibsan 'yung gastusin ng mga tao," Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso told reporters.

(It's not mandatory anymore... so that we can also help the people in reducing their expenses.)

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

(Perhaps with all the studies int he world, it has been proven that the face shield is useless. This only adds to our garbage.)

Domagoso has been pushing to stop the mandatory use of face shields since last year, saying there is no scientific basis that proves it could curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Manila Mayor called on business establishments to start accepting patrons who are not donning the additional layer of acetate or acrylic on top of their face masks.

"I'm calling all establishments, malls, business establishments and directors. The enforcement unit has already been informed... Kailangan mapagaan natin, maibsan natin (We need to make people's lives easier). This is the way to do it," he said.

"Basta ang importante naka-face mask sila," he said.

(What's important is they are wearing face masks.)

OTHER NCR CITIES ALSO LIFT FACE SHIELD REQUIREMENT

For his part, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos said other mayors in Metro Manila have also agreed to support Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano's position to stop the use of face shields except in critical areas.

"Wala na hong face shields maliban na lang sa critical areas like hospitals and health centers and even the public transport system," he said. 

He said the Metro Manila mayors will submit their position to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease for the lifting of the face shield requirement. 

As of November 7, Manila has 324 active COVID-19 cases, Domagoso said.

"Rest assured na kapag bumuti nang bumuti ang sitwasyon sa tulong ng taong bayan ay luluwag ng luluwag," the mayor said.

(Rest assured that if the situation gets better with the help of the people, policies will be eased.)

"Bibilisan lang natin ang ating kilos, tingin ko mapupunta na tayo sa new normal."

(We just have to act fast and I think we will get to the new normal in no time.)