AdChoiceTV News — Motorists caught not wearing face masks inside private cars will not be fined or apprehended yet, as the government’s coronavirus has yet to qualify the rule on face mask and face shield wearing in private vehicles, the transportation department said Tuesday.
To recall, Cabinet secretary Karlo Nograles in an interview aired over Ted Failon and DJ Chacha sa Radyo5 on Monday said that drivers of private vehicles are still required to wear a face mask even if driving alone, but not face shields.
“Given the recent recommendation of DOH, this matter is already scheduled for discussion among members of the IATF TWG tomorrow. We still need to iron out the enforcement details if we agree to implement exemptions,” transportation spokesperson Goddes Libiran said in mixed Filipino and English in a message to reporters.
“Until such time that the IATF releases a decision, [enforcers] will not apprehend motorists. When this was approved by IATF last year, the agreement was: if [the driver] is alone, they aren’t required to wear a mask. If they have someone with them, it’s required. They did not qualify at the time if they’re related or live in the same house,” she added.
An earlier study published by the University of the Philippines-OCTA Research group suggested that only 61% of Metro Manila residents said they “always or regularly” use their face shields when going outside their homes.
At a press briefing earlier Tuesday, Land Transportation Office chief Edgar Galvante added that while enforces would not be fining or even apprehending motorists not wearing face masks, they could still be stopped by road enforcers.
“If you are accosted, you will not be fined. They will just explain to you the importance of wearing a face mask,” he said.
“What we want is to lessen the possibility of spreading the virus. I understand that the IATF and DOH will still review this policy, but whatever adjustment they decide to issue, we will comply.”
LTO Memorandum Circular 2020-2185 dated May 2020, which outlined rules for vehicles under the general community quarantine, states: “All drivers and passengers of private and government vehicles must wear face masks at all times.”
However, this was before face shields were made to be mandatory by the IATF in December.
No other qualifiers were mentioned in the document, and it was not clarified if the rule also included motorists driving alone, causing confusion among users on social media. — via Letizia Tinoco