President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday claimed face shields could be used for more than a decade if used with care, before being corrected by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

In a Talk to the People address, Duterte claimed the plastic material being used in face shields are all the same, and would only reach an unusable state if not treated with care.

“Paano ito mag-expire? Unless abusuhin mo, itapon-tapon mo. Pero kung isuot mo lang at ilagay mo nang magandang pagkalagay, ganoon, paanong magexpire ‘yan? Well, mag-expire, but maybe it would take about 10, 15 years,” he said.

“Iyan mag-expire ‘yan dahil sa scratches…E kung maalagaan mo lang ‘yan, matagal ‘yan,” he added.

Duterte made the statement just days after a Pharmally employee admitted tampering with expiration dates of government-procured face shields.

Duque told Duterte that medical-grade face shields had shelf lives of about 36 months.

“Iyon pong medical grade na face shield, iyong may foam sa bandang taas…nagde-deteriorate [ang foam] sa habang panahon…[It becomes] brittle and nagiging powder, sir, at saka ‘yung kanyang garter nagiging brittle din po at ‘yun po ang tinatawag natin na may shelf life
of about 36 months,” he said.

After ranting about the expiration of face shields, the president accused Sen. Richard Gordon anew of making issues out of anything.

“Talagang itong sila Gordon obvious na wala nang ibang mahanap na pupuwedeng ibatong issue against officials of the executive. E ako, I am not bothered at all.” he said.

Pharmally, a corporation that won pandemic contracts amounting to P8.68 billion including a P3.82-billion contract for personal protective equipment, is undergoing a probe in the Senate for allegedly selling the government overpriced and expired supplies. John Ezekiel J. Hirro