Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año maintained his earlier directive in a statement that local chief executives can lift the mandatory use of face shield in public places.
He clarified that there is no need to seek any more approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), especially after presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr, who is also the IATF spokesperson, declared as “null and void” Año’s directive.
MANILA, Philippines — In a statement, the secretary explained that even without an approval from the government’s pandemic policy-making body, “it is up to (the LGUs) if they want to decide ahead of the IATF. “As I said, that issue is not worth quarreling about. It’s not like before where we didn’t have vaccines yet and our cases were really high. We were really strict then,” he pointed out.
According to Año, the mayors can impose their policies as long as they are reasonable.
“Anyway, the IATF guidelines can catch up (with such policies) later on,” he said.
“You know, there are issues that you need to fight to be sure (of keeping people safe). But there are also issues that you’ll need to adjust to because we are living with the virus,” he added.
In a press briefing earlier, Roque had announced that executive orders had been issued declaring “null and void” the lifting of the face shield requirement in Manila and in Davao City.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s mouthpiece tagged the lifting of the requirement as “in violation of an existing executive policy decreed by the president himself in the exercise of police powers.” (TRC/JuanManila)