Businesses can still require their workers and customers to wear face shields, Malacañang said Friday even after the government made the use of the plastic gear voluntary in areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 or lower.
Palace spokesperson and Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles said the easing of the face shield rule is "without prejudice" to employers still requiring its use.
"Puwede po i-require ng employers ang mga empleyado nila na mag face shield sa kanilang workplaces at puwede din po i-require ng private establishments ang customers nila na mag face shield. That is within their discretion," Nograles told reporters.
Nograles issued the clarification days after President Rodrigo Duterte said he was making wearing of face shields voluntary in areas under the three lowest alert levels.
Duterte however kept the mandatory use of face shields in areas under Alert Level 5, under granular lockdowns, in hospitals, quarantine facilities, and by healthcare workers in healthcare settings.
For areas under Alert Level 4, local government units and private establishments are given the discretion to mandate the use of face shields.
The amount of protection from face shields has long been questioned by Filipinos relative to the discomfort it brings, on top of the cost since not all countries mandate its use.