Workers required to wear face shields while in the office starting Saturday

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 12) — The Department of Labor said employees reporting to work will be required to wear face shields at all times beginning Aug. 15.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III told reporters on Wednesday that wearing of face shields will now be required on top of wearing face masks in the workplace.

Trade Undersecretary Irineo Vizmonte said in a CNN Philippines interview on Wednesday that employers could shoulder the cost of face shields to ease the burden on employees.

“Kung maaari po sana ay masagot ng mga kumpanya ang mga ganitong gastusin para na rin maka avail ng mas mura para sa kanilang mga empleyado,” he said.

[Translation: If possible, the company would shoulder these expenses in order to avail of a cheaper deal for the employees.]

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Tuesday released tighter rules for workers' decorum while at work, meant to limit interactions and prevent infections.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) said in its department order that the suggested retail price (SRP) for these protective films worn to cover the face will range from ₱26 to ₱50.

The order also stated that DOH would allow 10-percent variation to be added on the SRP due to distribution cost to Visayas and Mindanao.

Earlier, the Transportation Department will require face shields when riding public transportation to reduce possible COVID-19 transmissions.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said the wearing of face masks is currently "encouraged" but not yet required, on top of the minimum health standards of wearing a face mask, frequent washing of hands, and maintaining social distancing when in public.

Vizomonte said frontline industries will also be required to have their employees tested for COVID-19 every three months.

He added that companies with resources should designate isolation areas, while smaller establishments can set up a referral system with local government units.

On Monday, National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chairman Delfin Lorenzana said the national government will not issue a directive requiring face shields in public.

However, state agencies, local government units, and private companies are free to issue this guidance as an added health safety protocol, he added.