BUSINESS establishments in Bacolod City still have an option to require their customers to wear face shields within their premises, a city official said Wednesday, November 17.

Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, chairman of the local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), said this is despite Executive Order (EO) No. 54 issued by Mayor Evelio Leonardia on November 16 declaring face shield use voluntary in the city effective immediately.

"If the business establishments will require the use of face shield so the customers have no choice and they need to follow," Familiaran said.

He said it’s the right of the business establishments to require face shields because it’s voluntary and optional.

Familiaran added that business establishment owners have the right to protect their employees.

A memorandum released by the office of President Rodrigo Duterte earlier through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea stated that face shield use should be voluntary in areas under Alert Levels 1, 2, and 3 in terms of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) transmission.

Bacolod, Negros Occidental, and other areas in Western Visayas are currently all under Alert Level 2.

SM City, Ayala Malls Capitol Central, and Robinson’s Place Bacolod now allow entry to their establishments without face shields.

Meanwhile, the use of a face shield shall be mandatory and to continue to be implemented in areas under Alert Level 5 and granular lockdown, in places or facilities of medical and quarantine operations, and for safety protocols of healthcare workers in healthcare or quarantine facilities.

For areas under Alert Level 4, local government units and private establishments were given the discretion to mandate the use of face shields.*