Puerto Princesa officials are not keen yet on abolishing the mandatory wearing of face shields even when other local government units (LGUs) have already done so.
While national offices such as the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) have yet to issue guidelines on the matter once and for all, some LGUs have already gone ahead and removed face shield requirements.
City Incident Management Team (IMT) chief Dr. Dean Palanca said in a text message on Tuesday that the city IATF will ultimately decide on the matter. One of the considerations will be how much of the city’s target population is already vaccinated.
“Wala pa ang PPC IATF decision on that. And also, it will depend sa vaccination numbers ng population natin,” he said.
“’Di tayo puwede gumaya sa [Metro] Manila or Cebu, kasi ‘di pa kasing taas ng vaccine population ang naabot natin. I myself do not recommend na tanggalin right now, at mataas pa ang cases natin,” he added.
City IATF spokesperson Atty. Norman Yap also told Palawan News in a text message that they will bring up the matter on the next IATF meeting. Palanca stated that there is no scheduled meeting yet for this week.
Manila City recently rapped mandatory face shield use on Monday, only requiring it in hospitals. On the same day, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that other LGUs can follow suit even without the national IATF’s guidelines or final decision, as long as their present COVID-19 situation allows it. However, on Tuesday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the Manila LGU’s decision was “null and void,” and that all LGUs must still put their face shield use decisions on hold until the national IATF issues its final decision.