Malacañang on Monday said the mandatory wearing of face shields would stand until the government’s pandemic task force nixes it, after several local government units (LGUs) started scrapping the requirement.

“Ang desisyon po ngayon ay kinakailangan ipatupad muna ang face shields habang pinag-aaralan naman po. Hindi naman po natin sinasabi na hindi tatanggalin ‘yan pero ‘antayin naman po natin ang desisyon ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force),” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

Filipinos are required to wear face shields in the “3Cs”: closed, crowded and close-contact areas.

Earlier on Monday, Metro Manila mayors agreed to remove the face shield requirement except in critical areas, which are hospitals, public transport and barangay health centers.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso signed Executive Order No. 42 on Monday, which removed the mandatory wearing of face shields in the city except in hospitals.

Iloilo City and Davao City were the first LGUs to remove the face shield requirement.

Roque said LGUs and mayors must follow the Executive branch’s chain of command.

“Ang aking pakiusap po sa mga local government units natin, sa ating mga mayor – lahat po ng mayor ay under po the control and supervision of the president in the executive branch of government. At ang desisyon naman po ng IATF ay desisyon din ng ating presidente,” he said.

The Palace spokesman however assured LGUs that the scrapping of the face shield requirement was being discussed by the IATF.

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. John Ezekiel J. Hirro