- President Rodrigo Duterte declared that the public is no longer required to wear face shields if they are in open areas
- He government advisers recommended that the wearing of face shields should only be mandated in crowded and closed areas, or whenever close contact cannot be avoided
- The President also explained that he required the wearing of face shields in public in the past because he was scared of the Delta variant of COVID-19
- In June, the President modified the face shield mandate, declaring that it should only be used in hospitals, though changed it back to its original form again only after several days
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President Rodrigo Duterte has finally declared that face shields are no longer required in open areas and should only be worn in places that fall under the 3C category.
In a report by ABS-CBN, the 3C category areas are the crowded and closed spaces, as well as places where close contact cannot be avoided.
“'Yan tatlo na 'yan, face shield is a must pa rin. 'Yun ang recommendation. Labas sa tatlong limitations, puwede na na hindi gumamit,” the President said in a pre-recorded speech.
Rappler reported that in June, the President also declared that face shields will only be required in hospitals, though he took back that order only a couple of days later.
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In a report by the Inquirer, President Duterte explained that he did so back then because of the Delta variant threat, adding that the health department had confirmed to him at the time about the first few cases of the Delta variant.
The Philippines is one of the countries in Asia with the highest cases of COVID infections and deaths.
The country has been fighting the pandemic since last year and is now faced with economic repercussions.
The Philippines is the only country in the world that mandates the use of face shields by the public. Those caught not wearing one risk being slapped with a fine or imprisonment or both. While there are many sectors that complain its use does not protect the public from infection, government advisers insist they provide an additional layer of protection. Recently, face shields were thrust into the limelight as a result of the Senate investigation of the deal between the government and Pharmaly, a major supplier of face shields.
In the Senate investigation looking into the deal between the government and Pharmaly, a major supplier of face shields, the President called out a couple of senators after subjecting several present and former government officials to intense questioning for several hours. The Philippine Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is currently investigating how government funds were used in the ongoing health crisis caused by the COVID pandemic. At one time, Pres. Duterte referred to Sen. Gordon as “champion of talkathon” at the same time, called out his physical build, and asked him to go on a diet. The President also called out Sen. Ping Lacson for his “hairdo” and asked why it looked so different.
As the Pharmaly saga continues, with the Senate looking into the deal of the pharma company with the government, which include face shields, Sen. Richard Gordon hit at Pres. Rodrigo Duterte again. During the investigation, Gordon said that the President does not act like the President and that the latter is "not a President the Filipino people can respect." In the process, he also revealed that no one talks to Duterte during international conferences because the reputation of the President allegedly precedes him.