Why PH gov't orders mandatory use of face masks amid COVID-19 pandemic

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 03 2020 10:29 PM

The experience of other countries that have been relatively successful in addressing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led the Philippine government to implement the mandatory use of face masks in public places in areas covered by the enhanced community quarantine.

This was explained by the University of the Philippines' Dr. Teodoro Herbosa in a televised briefing by the National Task Force against COVID-19 on Friday night. 

Herbosa said data from Johns Hopkins University showed that countries/territories that have policies on the use of face masks for its residents registered a lower number of COVID-19 cases, compared to other countries who didn’t.

“Minomonitor po nila ang lahat ng epidemic curve ng iba’t ibang bansa na lumalaban ngayon sa COVID. Nakita namin na ang mga bansang Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, at Korea ay nag-implementa ng mga programa o polisiya ng pagsuot ng surgical mask kapag lumalabas ang kanilang mamamayan. At nakita nating napakababa po ng epidemic curve, maliban pa sa ibang measures na iniimplementa ng kanilang bayan,” Herbosa said.

“Yung mga bansang Italya, Espanya, Estados Unidos, ito po lahat ay hindi nag-implementa ng pagsuot ng mask, kaya nirerekomenda namin ngayon sa National Task Force na magkaroon tayo ng polisiya na magsuot po ng surgical mask kapag lumalabas tayo ng bahay,” he continued.

The IATF earlier said the mandatory use of face masks will help lessen the transmission of the highly infectious COVID-19.

Those without face masks can use reusable or do-it-yourself masks, face shields, and handkerchiefs when going outside.

“Ako po ay nananawagan sa ating mga kababayan para maiwasan ang patuloy na pagkalat ng sakit na ito. Kung kinakailangan kayong lumabas upang mamili ng inyong supplies magsuot ng face mask para makatulong sa pagpigil sa sakit na ito,” NTF chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez said.