Health official: Wearing of face shields in Davao City remains voluntary

File photo
File photo

WEARING of face shields will remain voluntary in Davao City despite Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque saying it is “null and void.”

Covid-19 Task Force Spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio Wednesday, November 10, that the city has no plans of repealing it despite the recent pronouncement of Roque.

Roque said during a press briefing on Monday, November 8, that Executive Order (EO) 51-A issued by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and other similar policies issued by other local government units (LGUs) will not take effect yet as the national government has yet to decide on its policy on face shields.

EO 51-A states, "Face shields shall be for voluntary use in the 3Cs settings: crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined and enclosed spaces."

"For all other places, the use of the face shield shall not be required," the EO said.

Roque made this remark after Manila Mayor Isko Moreno also made a similar EO.

"Ang desisyon ngayon ay ipatupad muna ang face shields habang pinag-aaralan. Hindi naman sinasabi na hindi tatanggalin iyan, pero antayin naman natin ang desisyon ng IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases]," Roque said.

(As of now we are still enforcing the rule on the use of face shields while it is being studied. We're not saying that we're not going to remove that, but let's wait for the IATF decision.)

He also said this will still be discussed during the IATF meeting this week.

The Department of Health (DOH) also urged local chief executives to wait for the government pandemic task force's decision on the controversial policy.

Schlosser declined to give her own interpretation of Roque's statement.

But she said, "What we do sa (in) the city is we follow the executive order. I understand there is what we call the IATF national guidelines and memorandum circular. But since we are under the executive order of our mayor, we will be following the executive order and we will implement what is written on that executive order."

The task force official emphasized that there is a "multi-factorial" reason for the issuance of the EO.

"The data is showing us na (that)... naa na na gyud ta sa (we are at the) acceptable level of positivity rate, and then our roll out sa vaccine is taas-taas na pud (increasing)," Schlosser said.

As of now, she said they will wait for further developments on the matter.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, meanwhile, said the already issued EOs cannot be considered "null and void" since local chief executives, under the Local Government Code, can enact their respective ordinances and EOs.

Año said he would not be issuing any orders flagging down the local governments as long as their areas were already deemed low risk for Covid-19.

Based on the Covid-19 Risk Assessment Map of the City Government from November 8 to 13, Davao City's risk classification is now tagged as "low risk," as the city continues to experience a downtrend of Covid-19 cases, particularly within barangay communities.

This after noting a -59.44 two-week growth rate and 1.95 average daily attack rate.


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