Harry Roque On Face Shield Policy: “Meron na pong desisyon pero …”

Harry Roque said that the IATF has “made a decision” on the mandatory wearing of face shields.

HARRY ROQUE — The Presidential spokesperson said that the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has “made a decision” on the mandatory wearing of face shields in the country and it’s up to President Rodrigo Duterte to approve it.

Harry Roque

The Palace spokesman said in a video message that the ball was in the hands of the President.

Eh, paano po yung face shields? Meron na pong desisyon,” Roque said. “Ito ay for approval and possibly for [an] announcement by the President himself.

Roque’s statement came after Metro Manila mayors called on the government’s pandemic task force to finally lift the face shield policy as the number of new daily coronavirus cases has plummeted while the vaccination rate has steadily increased.

To recall, President Duterte said last June that he preferred people only be required to wear face shields in hospitals. The IATF, however, opposed the easing of the rules on wearing face shields at that time and also appealed that the rule be kept.

President Duterte decided to keep mandatory the wearing of face shields both indoors and outdoors after the Department of Health (DOH) reported that a total of 17 individuals contracted the feared Delta variant last June 21.

READ ALSO: Mayor Isko Moreno Firm on Lifting Mandatory Face Shield Policy

Last September, President Duterte finally lifted the mandatory requirement on the use of face shields outdoors, except in crowded places, closed spaces, and close-contact settings (3Cs).

Metro Manila mayors renewed their call to the government’s pandemic task force this week. Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso even became the first local chief executive in the region to issue an executive order limiting the use of face shields only in medical facilities.

The Palace spokesman appealed to local chief executives to continue implementing the face shield policy while awaiting the announcement. He noted that the IATF policies were ratified by the President and should be implemented.

‘Wag po kayo mag-alala, pinag-aaralan naman po ‘yan at baka naman po ma-lift na ‘yan,” Roque said. “Konting pasensya lang po pero kailangan sundin naman po natin ang chain of command sa Executive Branch of government.

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