WEARING of face shields in all public transportation in areas under Alert Level 1, 2, and 3 will no longer be mandatory, following the approval of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on the recommended guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
In a memorandum from Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea dated November 15, 2021 on the protocols on the use of face shields, the Chairpersons and Members of the task force were informed that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte “has approved the recommendation of the IATF in its Resolution No. 148-D (s. 2021) issued on November 11, 2021.”
The IATF Resolution No. 148-D, signed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Secretary Karlo Alexi Nograles was unanimously approved and adopted in a regular meeting by the task force on November 11, 2021, stated in certification by Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary and IATF Head Secretariat Charade Mercado-Grande.
With the President’s approval of the IATF resolution, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its attached agencies will implement in public transportation the following protocols:
1. For areas under Alert Level 5 and granular lockdowns, the use of face shields in community settings shall be mandatory;
2. For areas under Alert Level 4, local government units (LGUs) and private establishments are given discretion to mandate the use of face shields; and
3. For areas under Alert Levels 3, 2 and 1, the use of face shields shall be voluntary.
DOTr representative to the IATF-EID and Undersecretary for Administrative Services Artemio Tuazon Jr. said the Department will immediately enforce the protocols on the use of face shields.
“In line with the directive issued by the IATF, which was also approved by the Palace, wearing of face shields in areas, where Alerts Level 1, 2 and 3 are in place, is no longer mandatory. It will be voluntary.” Usec. Tuazon said.
To recall, all passengers in any mode of public transportation were required to wear face shields, aside from face masks, effective August 15, 2020.
Meanwhile, despite the lifting of the mandatory use of face shields, stringent preventive measures remain in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in all public transport facilities. These include the mandatory wearing of face mask, strict enforcement of the social distancing measure, and frequent sanitation. Talking and eating are likewise discouraged inside all public transportation.
In separate interview commuter and transport groups welcomed recommendation of Inter-Agency Task Force and approved by President Duterte.
“Magandang development yan”, commuter and transport groups said.