Responsible, careful messaging

June 8, 2021 Mario Fetalino Jr. 264 views

Mario FetalinoTHE proposal to do away with face shields has stirred up quite a controversy amid the unstable health situation in the country brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For why suggest the removal of an important government health protocol when it helps in preventing the spread of the deadly virus?

It’s common knowledge an added layer of protection aside from the face mask promotes safety which is of paramount importance.

But of course, Manila Mayor Isko ‘Yorme’ Moreno was prepared to defend the proposal. When some thought it was just another ‘pogi’ statement of the highly popular leader, Yorme surprised them with interesting inputs.

First, Moreno blasted with the idea that the protection given by face shields is already immaterial because the same defense is provided by face masks. And there’s a study supporting this claim, according to Yorme.

It’s the same study Moreno was pertaining to as to why many other countries are no longer requiring the use of face shields to fight COVID-19 infection.

From this point of view, Yorme shifted to an issue that surely got the attention of poor Manilenos – the cost of wearing face shields. Moreno was correct in saying that aside from the discomfort it brings, the use of face shields further empties the pocket of underprivileged city residents.

A face shield costs somewhere between P15 to P20 per unit which could already buy noodles and eggs for a hungry Filipino. And we don’t buy them once. We lose or destroy them often for a reason or another so a replacement is a must — definitely another burden for the needy.

Indeed, Moreno’s proposal was properly defended. Whether he was serving the people or just making a political statement, Yorme simply made his valid points.

In the meantime, Filipinos got cautioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) against relaxing the country’s minimum public health standards against the pandemic.

Rabinda Abeyasinghe, WHO country representative, noted it’s not advisable to reduce compliance with basic health protocols considering the still low vaccine coverage in the Philippines.

Abeyasinghe said there is a need to be careful in the messaging. This is very true for Filipinos who are likely to embrace messages serving their own interests.

Our leaders should always be reminded about responsible messaging because people listen to them. The messaging should be towards safety at all times while we try to achieve the fastest accomplishment of vaccination in the country.

And talking about efforts to get the inoculation program rolling, I’m amused at how some local government units or LGUs are dealing with the problem on our peoples’ hesitancy to get the jab.

I have read reports about LGUs resorting to raffle games just to entice senior citizens to have the vaccine. I think it’s in Bulacan where one can win for himself a whole cow if he supports the inoculation program.

Anak ng baka, ‘di ba!

Anyway, maybe we can adopt a better system where those who refuse the jab are moved aside to allow the next in line to be vaccinated. This way, we don’t waste time in waiting for the undecided to make up their minds.


Congratulations to a very hardworking friend who got approved by a universal bank for a P3-million condo loan.

Before that, she was worried about being denied by the bank and lose the opportunity to live in a condo she can call her own.

I always told her she’ll get the approval because she’s probably the only one borrowing amid the pandemic.

Getting the loan is one thing. Paying it is another story.


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