“There is a disconnect between the IATF and all other units implementing the guidelines.”
It’s a shame that coronavirus will have died a natural death one day and the government would have yet to issue clear guidelines on where to use or where not to use face shields.
Many of us who have gotten familiar with the old community quarantine classifications get confused about the guidelines, particularly on the matter of face shields.
On Monday, the Presidential Inter-Agency Task Force on the management of emerging infectious diseases (IATF-MEID) announced that wearing face shields is no longer required in areas under Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3.
However, the IATF said people may wear face shields “voluntarily” in those areas.
Apparently, quite a number of business operators in areas under Alert Levels 1-3 are not aware of the IATF announcement that the use of face shield is no longer required but optional.
Customers are still required by shopping malls to wear face shields which they have to carry with them, anyway.
“Lalakad ka nang wala nang face shield which convenient pero pagpasok mo sa grocery store, sasabihin magsuot ng face shield, ano ba yan,” one shopper complained, as did many others.
This usually occurs at enclosed spaces like air conditioned restaurants, department stores and banks.
IATF said only in areas under Alert Levels 4 and 5, use of a face shield is still required.
The problem arises when people travel from places under Alert Levels 1-3 going to areas under Alert Levels 4-5, thinking they do not need to bring and put on their face shield.
Wearing of face shields is mandatory in quarantine facilities, hospitals and medical facilities under all alert levels.
We have received complaints that in some provinces, even some Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel, along with barangay tanod aides, still require passengers in jeepneys and tricycles to wear face shields.
Apparently, some policemen and local enforcers are also not updated with the IATF guidelines, particularly on the matter of face shields which should be required in Alert Level 4 and 5 areas only.
Many barangay officials are detached from the LGUs regarding updates on IATF guidelines.
It is also high time for the IATF to closely coordinate with the LGUs not only in the NCR but with the rest of localities throughout the country with regard to travel requirements, including the RT-PCR and antigen tests.
The IATF and LGUs should consider implementing uniform rules to eliminate or minimize confusion among inter-zonal travelers, as the country opens the economy including tourism.
Actually, the same failure of the government to disseminate clear and convincing information about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination at the grassroots level, especially in remote areas, accounts for refusal of many rural folk to get immunized.
There are many areas where young and old still believe in superstition over getting vaccination.
Such superstitious beliefs get exacerbated by fake news about vaccines found in social media.