Exempt bikers, joggers from face shield requirement, Pia Cayetano urges IATF

Senator Pia Cayetano on Wednesday, December 23, urged the government’s infectious disease task force to exempt bikers and joggers from wearing face shields.

“I ask the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) to consider exempting cyclists from wearing face shields. Moreover, recognizing the role of exercise in promoting mental and physical health, I also ask the IATF to exempt joggers from the requirement when jogging in open spaces, provided they observe social distancing measures,” Cayetano said in a statement.

A sports enthusiast, the lawmaker joined the biking community in expressing their concern over the IATF’s policy, announced December 15, requiring Filipinos to wear full face shields when stepping out of their homes. This is in addition to wearing face masks.

The new policy covers even outdoor areas. Before this, face shields were only required in malls and other indoor public spaces.

“As a cyclist on the road, I know how important it is to be fully aware of your surroundings. A shield could drastically impair one’s vision and perception of space, which may lead to accidents,” Cayetano said.

The Octa Research Group earlier warned that a surge in COVID-19 cases has begun in Metro Manila as people brave public spaces to prepare for the Christmas holidays.

The IATF required face shields in order to stave off such a surge.

The Department of Health on December 19, said it would consider exempting bikers from wearing face shields because exercise requires increased oxygen intake.

The Pasig City government has also exempted bikers from wearing face shields, saying it makes breathing difficult, and obstructs the wearer’s view of the road. – Rappler.com

JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.