The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases is considering discontinuing the face shield requirement, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

In a virtual presser, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said several members of the IATF were in support of scrapping the requirement.

“I can confirm po na habang bumababa ang mga numero e pinag-uusapan na rin po kung ipapagpatuloy pa ang pagsuot ng face shields,” he said.

The Philippine government made mandatory the wearing of face shields nationwide in December last year, nine months since the first community quarantine was imposed in the country.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, face shields are not effective in protecting an individual from respiratory droplets.

The government’s face shield policy had been confusing. In June, it was revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte had removed the face shield policy for outdoors, only to retract it shortly after.

In September, Duterte announced that Filipinos were no longer required to wear face shields when outdoors, and the requirement would only remain for “3Cs”: closed, crowded and close-contact areas.

“Suot pa rin po tayo ng face shields,” Roque said. “Nililinaw ko lang po, bagama’t dumadami ang sumusuporta doon sa hindi na paggamit ng face shield dahil bumababa ang numero, sa ngayon po, isuot pa rin natin ang face shields, lalung-lalo na doon sa ‘3Cs.’” John Ezekiel J. Hirro