STARTING August 15, 2020, all passengers in areas where public transportation is allowed are required to wear face shields.
This, after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued Memorandum Circular 2020-014 mandating heads and officials of the transportation sector to enjoin, within their jurisdictions, the mandatory wearing of face shields.
The same will also apply to sea vessel passengers after the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) said it will adhere to the date set by the DOTr.
The CPA, based on a memorandum issued by the Maritime Industry Authority, had said it would implement the “No Face Shield, No Ride” policy for all sea vessel passengers beginning August 15.
Sea passengers who do not meet the new safety requirement will be denied entry into ports.
Aside from the mandatory face shields, established minimum health standards such as the washing of hands, wearing of face masks, and physical distancing are to be observed.
Victor Caindec, Land Transportation Office (LTO)-Central Visayas director, said he is still awaiting guidelines on the order from the operations division of the LTO central office.
“LTO will now translate the intricacies of that order. One of the things that we take pride of in Region 7 is that we do not do anything without proper documentation of the order,” Caindec said.
As a law enforcement arm of the DOTr, Caindec said the LTO has to align the definitions of the order with that of existing LTO rules and regulations.
“What are the possible penalties? It could be that it will be charged under reckless driving etc.,” Caindec said.
The soon-to-be-implemented “No Face Shield, No Ride” policy of the DOTr has earned different reactions from passengers.
Quennie Case, a resident of Cabancalan, Mandaue City, who was waiting for a bus at the time of the interview told Sunstar Cebu she agreed with the DOTr’s new policy.
Case said even before the Covid-19 pandemic, she was already wearing a mask to shield herself from the dust.
Following the coronavirus outbreak, Case said aside from her mask, she now wears a face shield wherever she goes for added protection.
She believes making face shields mandatory will further promote the safety of commuters.
For Susan Samblaseno, a resident of Barangay Canduman, Mandaue City, while face shields make her feel stuffy, she would be willing to comply with the new policy.
Samblaseno said she understands that government just wants to protect the people from Covid-19 contamination.
In the case of Marilyn Panjay, a fruit vendor, making face shields mandatory for passengers only adds to her burdens.
She hopes that government will reconsider the new DOTr directive.
Panjay explained the face shields will only add to their current expenses as she would then have to buy for herself and for her husband, who always goes with her to her fruit stand.
“Wala naman gani tay hapit kita, nya mupalit pa mi ani (We barely have enough income and then we still have to buy this),” said Panjay.
Panjay believes wearing a face mask properly would suffice to prevent the spread of the virus and there would be no need for the public to buy face shields.
At the malls, the average price for ordinary face shields is P100 while online, the average price is P40.
Helmet-type face shields cost P250 in the malls and P170 online.