In the face of rising cases of COVID-19, the Department of the Interior and Local Government directed the Philippine National Police as well as the Local Government Units to intensify the implementation of the face shield requirement.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that based on the latest NTF data, while the use of face masks is at 91%, the use of face shields is only at 32%. “According to the medical experts, the combined population effectiveness of both the face masks and face shields is only at 26% instead of 80% if use was more prevalent, therefore we have to increase the use of face shields to get the maximum protection at this time of the surge,” he said.
He said that the challenge now is to get more people to use both the face masks and the face shields and not only the face masks. “We will be mobilizing all our force multipliers in the barangays to enforce the face shield protocol,” he added.
“Another challenge is to promote the use of face masks at home especially those living with senior citizens and the vulnerable. When we are at home, our guard goes down so we discourage accepting visitors from outside the immediate family or household,” he said.
Malaya said that while the hospitals cope with the infected, we have to do more to get people to use face shields to prevent them from getting infected and possibly overwhelm the health care system.
He said that from August 20 to March 20, 2021, the PNP has reported 1,503,273 violations of minimum health protocols nationwide. 671,104 or 44.6% are violations of not wearing face masks and face shields while 430,773 or 28.7% were weaking face masks but had no face shields. 371,102 or 24.7% were violations of physical distancing while the rest, 17,673 or 1.2% were violations of RA 11332 and 12,621 or .8% were violations of mass gatherings.
“The data from the PNP validates the survey conducted by our medical experts. We really are not getting the full benefits of the utilization of face masks and face shields to prevent the spread of COVID-19 because we have let our guard down,” he said.
Malaya said that there are also many violators of curfew regulations in Metro Manila. The PNP has reported that from March 15-20, 2021, 19,628 were apprehended for violating the curfew. Of this number, the most number of apprehensions were 5,865 or 29.89% by the Manila Police District and the lowest number of apprehensions were 2,264 or 11.53% by the Quezon City Police District.