Palace says face shield requirement stays, no corruption behind its policy | Inquirer News
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Palace says face shield requirement stays, no corruption behind its policy

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 03:40 PM September 02, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The task force managing the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet considering doing away with the face shield requirement, Malacañang said Thursday as it dismissed suspicions of corruption on why its use remains mandatory.

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“Sa ngayon po, wala,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing when asked if the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is discussing the possibility of dropping the face shield requirement.

(As of now, there is none.)

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“Pero I understand that even the WHO [World Health Organization] will render an expert opinion on whether or not the use of face shields is justified. Antayin po natin yung opinyon ng WHO,” he added.

(But I understand that even the WHO will render an expert opinion on whether or not the use of face shields is justified. Let’s wait for WHO’s opinion.)

WHO’s representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe earlier said they would look into the Philippines’ experience in requiring the use of face shields.

Asked to comment on suspicion that the face shield requirement may be linked to corruption, Roque said: “Wala pong relasyon yan.” (There is no relation between the two.)

“Ang pagsusuot po ng face shields, nakikita niyo naman sa ating presidential press briefings, ay sang-ayon po sa mga opinyon ng eksperto,” Roque said.

(The wearing of face shields, as you have seen during our presidential press briefings, is according to experts’ opinions.)

The Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management’s (PS-DBM) purchase of face masks and face shields at P27.72 and P120 per piece, respectively, have been questioned before the Senate for supposedly being “overpriced.”

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READ: Lacson on pricey shields: Why so high a demand if only PH mandates its use?

Former head of the PS-DBM Lloyd Lao explained these face masks and face shields were the “cheapest” they could find then, at a time when many countries were scrambling to procure it at the height of the pandemic.

But President Rodrigo Duterte himself ruled out corruption in the purchase of these face masks and face shields, saying these were bought “when the prices of supplies skyrocketed due to scarcity of supply and abrupt demand increase.”

JPV

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TAGS: duterte, face shields, IATF, Malacañang, Palace, President Rodrigo Duterte
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