The country may have shifted from mandating the wearing of face masks outdoors to allowing its voluntary use, but some personalities are advocating keeping the protective contraptions on.
Veteran actor Romnick Sarmenta was one of them.
Tony Leachon, former National Task Force against COVID-19 special adviser, also stated the importance of wearing face masks as a protective measure.
Leachon accompanied his tweet with an infographic that listed reasons why face masks should be worn in public.
“Wear face mask in public for 3 reasons. A face mask is our protective gear vs the virus. It reflects also our moral values and our thinking process on how to solve this pandemic,” he said.
Wear face mask in public for 3 reasons. Face mask is our protective gear vs the virus. It reflects also our moral values and our thinking process on how to solve this pandemic. pic.twitter.com/Gdp0ysINSL
— Tony Leachon MD (@DrTonyLeachon) September 12, 2022
Harold Henrison Chiu, also a doctor, said he would still wear face masks in public.
Chiu listed his reasons for this decision in his tweet.
“Masks should be the last to go,” he said.
Masks should be the last to go. Will continue wearing for the ff reasons:
1. One can have COVID-19 and spread it to others
2. Booster coverage remains low
3. To protect our vulnerable population
4. Difficult to define “outdoors”
5. We can get to better days sooner
— Harold Henrison C. Chiu, RCh, MD (施君明) 🏳️🌈🇵🇭 (@88DoubleDragon) September 13, 2022
A doctor with the handle (@docbenjisays) also provided similar reasons for being steadfast in wearing face masks outdoors.
“I am not removing my mask anytime soon until this pandemic ends. If you care for others, you won’t too. The numbers are not only underreported. A lot of people are not testing,” he said.
“While the economy is reopening, it looks normal. Until you test positive,” he added.
By virtue of Executive Order No. 3, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved on Monday that face masks can be worn voluntarily amid the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country.
This amendment in the policy applies under the following specific conditions:
- Outdoor settings must not be crowded, and physical distancing consistently observed
- Outdoor area must have good ventilation
Individuals who are “highly encouraged” to wear face masks are as follows:
- Not yet fully vaccinated
- Senior citizens
- Immunocompromised individuals
The EO was signed after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) recommended the voluntary wearing of face masks last week.
The mandatory wearing of face masks has been in place since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the main protective measures against the disease.
Other Filipinos, especially those who were burdened with wearing the accessory, welcomed the new mandate.
The Department of Health also previously stressed in an advisory that it’s safer to wear face masks in outdoor settings.
The health department further noted that this information is backed by scientific data and advice from experts.
Some social media users also expressed deep concern over the change in the previous public health protocol.
They reminded others about the low rate of COVID-19 booster shots in the country as compared to its neighbors and the uptick in the weekly tally of COVID-19 cases.