PASIG CITY, (PIA) -- The use of face shields in areas under Alert Levels 3 to 1 is no longer mandatory after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on the use of face shields under the Alert Levels System.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, in his first briefing as Acting Presidential Spokesperson, reiterated the Memorandum issued by the Office of the Executive Secretary on 15 November 2021 with regard to the protocols on the use of face shields.
“Batay sa memorandum ni ES Medialdea [Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea], malinaw po na dito sa Metro Manila at sa mga lugar sa ilalim ng Alert Level 1, 2, at 3, hindi na po required ang mga face shield sa mga pampublikong lugar. Sa mga lugar sa ilalim ng Alert Level 4, nasa discretion po ng mga LGU at mga private establishments. Sa mga lugar po naman na nasa ilalim po ng Alert Level 5 at nasa ilalim ng granular lockdowns, required pa rin po ang face shields,” said Secretary Nograles.
The government official also reiterated that face shield use is still mandatory in medical and quarantine facility settings, and shall still be required for healthcare workers in healthcare settings.
Sec. Nograles also clarified that it is only in areas under Alert Level 4 where discretion is given to establishments and local government units on mandating the use of face shields.
“Otherwise, it’s voluntary for the users. So sa Level 1,2,3 purely voluntary po yan. For establishments they’ll have to follow yung protocols natin,” said Nograles.
Meanwhile, on the issue of booster shots, Sec. Nograles affirmed the public advisory issued by the Department of Health (DOH) which states that all fully vaccinated healthcare workers may already avail of booster shots beginning 17 November 2021.
“Uulitin ko po, para po muna ito sa A1 healthcare workers… Hintayin na lamang po natin ang Guidelines na ilalabas ng National Vaccination Operations Center,” Nograles said.
Based on the Emergency Use Authorization issued by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration, the DOH recommends the use of Moderna, Pfizer, and Sinovac vaccines as booster doses, regardless of the vaccine brand used for the primary series.
In the same press briefing, Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan reported that the first day of the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes was a success. Usec. Malaluan said DepEd is confident that the agency will be able to conduct the pilot phase successfully in preparation for the expansion phase and the reintroduction of face-to-face classes in all schools nationwide in 2022. (OPS/PIA-NCR)