Senator Imee Marcos on Thursday branded as “overkill” if the use of faceshields will be mandatory, but said it could be localized or voluntary.
“Which other country has imposed face shields and made their use with face masks mandatory outside of hospitals?” asked Marcos.
She said it’s not too late for the government to modify its mandatory requirement on commuters and employees to start wearing face shields in addition to face masks.
She also cautioned the government against profiteers taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic in the guise of increasing health protection.
“Identify the importers and local suppliers of face shields and find out if they have any connections with officials in the health, transportation, labor, and trade and industry departments who might profit from their domestic sale,” Marcos said.
“Suddenly, we already have SRPs (suggested retail prices) for face shields, but no official public guidelines on product quality and proper labeling to protect consumers,” she added.
“Are they for single or multiple use, how are they to be cleaned, are materials inflammable, what precautions must the user take?” the senator also asked.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that wearing a face mask alone “may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency, or introduce significant safety concerns.”
But Marcos said that aside from the sheer discomfort, wearing a face shield over a face mask might suffocate those with medical conditions like high-blood pressure, heart ailments, or asthma.
“How long before office and factory workers can take a break after long hours enduring a lack of oxygen?” Marcos asked.
If the virus is indeed airborne, she said face shields with open edges may be of little use in workplaces that are enclosed and where the air that circulates is recycled.