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Manila
Thursday, August 05, 2021
MANILA

Uniform penalty eyed for no mask, physical distancing

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LOCAL governments have agreed to come up with ordinances that would penalize persons not wearing face masks outside their residence with imprisonment of 10 to 30 days or a fine of up to P5,000, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said Wednesday, July 22, 2020, that local chief executives discussed during a recent meeting the creation of a uniform policy to penalize violators of quarantine protocols, particularly the non-wearing of face masks.

"Magkakaroon na kami ng uniform implementation kung papaano ipapatupad 'yung health standards... number of days in prison kapag nag-violate ka ng hindi pagsuot ng mask. We suggest 10 to 30 days, physical distancing also 10 to 30 days imprisonment," Año said during a virtual pre-Sona forum and press conference Wednesday.

"Kung ikaw naman ay ipa-fine, it's about P1,000 to P5,000. So 'yan 'yung magiging uniform implementation natin," he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed police officers to arrest people not wearing face masks outside their homes as well as those not practicing social distancing, two of the health protocols aimed at preventing transmission of Sars-CoV-2, which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) Covid Shield, ordered police commanders to coordinate closely with the local government units, particularly the barangays, to ensure that residents in their areas of responsibility strictly adhere to the health protocols.

The task force is the primary implementer of quarantine protocols.

Eleazar said the LGUs, through their Public Order and Safety personnel, and the barangays, through their barangay security officers or tanods, would play a key role in enforcing the minimum health safety protocols particularly through the conduct of regular patrol in the alleys, streets and public places in their communities.

“Since police forces are not enough to guard every street of the country, the barangay tanod is of great help as force multipliers in the maintenance of peace and order,” Eleazar said.

“While the implementation of quarantine rules is challenging as more people are allowed to go out under GCQ (general community quarantine) and MGCQ (modified GCQ), the strict implementation of local ordinances down to the barangay level will boost the enforcement of quarantine rules,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)


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