United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin drew flak from Republicans for wearing a face shield during his recent visit in the Philippines. Republicans mocked him for doing what they thought was mere theatrics. After all, no other country required the wearing of face shields even when the corona virus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic was at its worst.

How could they know there were more than a “billion” reasons for the mandate. Even Filipinos did not know until the Senate started looking into it.

The requirement not only wasted taxpayers’ money but also deprived local businesses of income they badly needed during a crisis. And, as witnesses told the Senate, there were even serious problems about their safety and efficacy. One witness said a large volume of the face masks and shields bought from China were distributed way past the “best before” date.

Local artists and crafts people have made stylish masks that do the job of protecting people quite well. Why we had to get things as simple as face masks and shields from China was, of course, explained in a “billion” ways.

Incidentally, consumers who used to go Bambang in Manila for medical supplies and devices they need can now find those items in the one-stop medical shop Medical Depot at Robinsons Galleria.

Although this is its first mall outlet, Medical Depot has been supplying the medical needs of hospitals, doctors, clinics, and diagnostic centers for more than 30 years. Starting in Bambang, with only 16 employees in 1991, it now has 150 employees and 16 branches.

JR Medina, Medical Depot chief executive officer and president, said they decided to have their first mall outlet at Robinsons Galleria because they had always had a very close relationship with Robinsons malls.

“They were among the very first to work with us and accommodate us during the height of the pandemic. They went above and beyond by providing us with the best location as possible for our new format, and even working with  us during weekends,” Medina said.

The store carries medical equipment, supplies and other medical and health essentials. Visit www.medicaldepot.com.ph or email support@medicaldepot.com.ph or call 09171137690, 09171572608, 09190987207, and 0275863368. Medical Depot is at Digiworld, Level 1, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas Center.


Linda B. Bolido


Linda B. Bolido is a freelance writer/editor, former contributing editor and columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and contributing editor of Mirror magazine. She studied Journalism at the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication but earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Lyceum of the Philippines University. As a Fulbright-Hays grantee, she was a Professional Journalism (now John S. Knight) fellow at Stanford University in California, United States. She started as a reporter for Bulletin Today (Manila Bulletin). She was editor of Depthnews Radio and, later, Depthnews Asia. She lectures and conducts workshops on writing and editing for campus journalists, as her way of helping prepare those planning to work in media for the task ahead.

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