IATF asked to rethink ‘ludicrous’ rule of wearing face mask inside private car
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Friday asked the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to reconsider its “ludicrous” and “unrealistic” policy that require drivers and passengers to wear face masks inside private vehicles regardless if they are from the same household.
According to Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, a private car is similar to an extension of a family’s house that could be considered their “private bubble” as long as they are no strangers inside the vehicle.
She maintained that wearing a face mask should strictly be required in public transportation and carpooling, but not inside private vehicles carrying members of the same household.
“I ask the IATF to rethink its policy requiring occupants of a vehicle to wear anti-virus masks even if they are from the same household,” she said.
“This order is simply ludicrous and unrealistic,” she added.
Poe said she will ask concerned government officials to explain the policy when the Senate conducts a hearing on February 9.
Based on a joint statement from the Department of Health and Department of Transportation, only a driver traveling alone may remove his or her face mask while inside the vehicle.
Clarence Guinto, acting director of the Land Transportation Office’s Law Enforcement Service, earlier said that not wearing face masks while driving with passengers could now be considered reckless driving.
However, the LTO also said that motorists whose passengers will be caught not wearing face masks inside private vehicles will not be slapped with fines although they will be reminded to follow the health protocol against Covid-19.
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