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Duterte on speaking vs. face shield use: My mistake

President Rodrigo Duterte had admitted that he made a mistake when he said that wearing face shield is not needed to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

"Ako noon, sabi ko tanggalin na ninyo yung face shield kasi binabasa ko naman ang ano, sa Amerika at lahat, wala namang face shield," he said in a taped address aired on Wednesday.

(I said once to remove your face shields because I read that they are not required in other countries like the United States.)

Duterte said he changed his mind after the Delta coronavirus variant was detected in the country.

"Noong dumating itong variant na Delta, natakot ako. ‘Yun, mali ko ‘yun [When the Delta variant came, it scared me. That call to ditch the face shield was a wrong call on my part]," he said.

Delta variant is a more infectious variant of the coronavirus. Experts said it can infect as many as eight people in one enclosed setting.

"Ako ang nagsabi ng huwag na, akin yun. It was my call but I believed, in good faith, na hindi na kailangan [ang face shield]," Duterte said

(I was the one who said face shields are not needed anymore. That error was on me, but I believed, in good faith, that we don't really need face shields.)

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said the policy on mandatory wearing of face shield when going outdoors is based on the recommendations of health experts.

It was Senate President Vicente Sotto III who said in June that Duterte agreed that face shields should only be worn in hospitals.

Government officials then exchange opinions on whether the general population should use face shields when going outdoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic for two weeks before ultimately deciding to keep the policy.

The government's purchase of face shields in 2020, which is being questioned by some lawmakers, is currently being investigated by the Senate blue ribbon committee.

Duterte has dismissed the investigation as "politicking." —KBK, GMA News