DOTr to require all passengers using public transpo to wear face shields, masks by Aug 15

The Department of Transportation said all passengers using any mode of public transportation will be required to wear face shields, aside from face masks, effective August 15, 2020. 

In a Memorandum Circular released on  August 4, 2020, the DOTr, through its Administrative Service, has ordered all officials and heads of its various transportation sectors to enjoin, within their respective jurisdictions, the mandatory wearing of face shields for all passengers in areas where public transportation is allowed.

The initiative aims to further reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in public transport facilities as health authorities have pointed out that the use of face shields and masks reduces exposure to and emission of respiratory droplets considerably.

“Sa mga kababayan ’ho natin, huwag sana nating isipin na panibagong gastusin o dagdag abala ang pag-require natin sa paggamit ng face shield. Let us remember that no amount of protection is too much when it comes to health and safety, especially that we are battling an invisible enemy. What we are addressing is not a transport issue but rather a health issue. Kaya nga ‘ho  hinihingi ko ang kooperasyon ng bawat isa,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

The directive applies to all public transportation throughout the country, involving the Aviation and Airports, Railways, Road, and Maritime sectors.

“Ipatutupad po natin ang mandatong ito sa lahat ng pampublikong sasakyan tulad ng sa mga tren, bus, jeepney, taxi, passengers vessels at maging sa eroplano. I will not elaborate more on the practical benefits the face shield offers, but we know that the use of face coverings and masks for superior protection is adopted widely,” DOTr Undersecretary for Administrative Affairs Artemio Tuazon Jr. stressed.

Further, Usec. Tuazon clarifies that the face shield to be used should sufficiently cover the nose and mouth.

“Mayroon po kasing mga tinatawag na visor, goggles, o ‘yung iba pang protective eyewear that only encloses the eye area. We advise that our passengers use the ones that cover the whole face. It’s actually meant as a redundancy of the protection of the face mask,” Usec. Tuazon adds.

Meanwhile, stringent preventive measures are still in effect to contain the spread of COVID-19 in all public transport facilities. These include the mandatory wearing of face mask, strict enforcement of the social distancing measure, and handwashing or hand sanitizing. Talking and using mobile phones are likewise discouraged inside all public transportation. 

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