SPEAKER Lord Allan Velasco hailed President Rodrigo Duterte for heeding the advice of some medical experts to limit the use of faceshields.
Velasco earlier appealed to President Duterte to reconsider the use of faceshield since it is just an additional burden to Filipinos who are already bearing the brunt of the pandemic.
“It is indeed a welcome development, and we fully support his continuing effort to come up with policies that aim to unburden our kababayans during these trying times,” Velasco said.
“We sincerely thank the President for heeding the advice of medical experts to limit the use of plastic face coverings in “3 Cs”—closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings. This is a step in the right direction given the absence of solid medical proof that face shields are effective against the transmission of the deadly coronavirus,” he added.
The House speaker said the latest policy on the use of face shields would somehow ease the financial burden of poor Filipino families whose livelihood were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Likewise it would also help reduce the environmental impact of face shields, which contribute to the growing problem of plastic pollution.
In his letter to the President and copy furnished to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Velasco has cited the absence of solid medical proof that the use of face shield is effective against the transmission of the deadly coronavirus.
“The use of face shields has made little difference in protecting against the transmission of COVID-19 over the proper use of masks alone, and imposes an additional burden to poor Filipino families already reeling from the adverse effect of the pandemic on their livelihood,” he added.
Velasco has cited the COVID-19 Low Income Household Panel and Economic (HOPE) survey conducted by the World Bank and supported by the Australian government showing a grim picture on the impact of the pandemic on the poorest 18 million poor and vulnerable households, comprising 70 percent of the population, and residing mostly in rural areas in Visayas and Mindanao.
He cited an article by researchers from the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, the country’s leading professional association of specialists in infectious diseases and microbiology, concluding that the use of face shields may help doctors and health care workers against splashes and sprays of blood or other bodily secretions, but does not give additional protection against respiratory aerosol such as those present in COVID-19 transmission.