AN ORDINANCE that would penalize Cebu City residents for not following quarantine protocol while the city is in any community quarantine status is set to take effect on Aug. 16, 2020.

Cebu City is currently on general community quarantine status (GCQ) until Aug. 15.

The ordinance, which was approved by the Cebu City Council last June 26, was authored by Cebu City Councilors Dave Tumulak, Raymond Alvin Garcia and Phillip Zafra.

Starting Aug. 16, GCQ violators will be fined P1,500 for the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third offense or 30 days’ imprisonment depending on the discretion of the court.

The violation committed by the resident may also lead to the forfeiture of benefits and allowances provided by the City such as financial assistance and tax amnesty, among others, for two years from the imposition of penalty.

For erring establishments, business permits may be revoked or the City Government may issue a closure order against the establishment.

During the community quarantine, may it be ECQ or GCQ, it is mandatory to properly wear face masks; observe 1.5-meter social distancing in public places and in commercial and business establishments, and one meter in public and private vehicles; and follow the stay-at-home order, and the use and wearing of quarantine pass when running errands.

Prohibited acts include, among others, going outside the home premises without a quarantine pass; going outside the home premises during a stay-at-home order and/or without wearing a face mask; loitering in public areas without any proven essential purpose or exemption, either alone or in group; leaving the home premises during a required home quarantine or self-quarantine for a specified period of time mandated by the City or the health department; any form of mass gatherings such as parties, fiesta activities, and other non-essential assemblies; non-compliance with social distancing measures; tampering or using of falsified quarantine pass; disobedience to authorities; and any other violation of provisions considered as violative under the executive order declaring a state of community quarantine status.

Health care providers, information technology, business process outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing industry workers, and those working in permitted establishments are exempted from the ordinance as long as they present their Professional Regulation Commission identification card, company ID or certificate of employment in going outside to perform their duty.

The local police, the Cebu City Transportation Office, the Prevention, Rehabilitation, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) team and the barangay officials must strictly enforce the ordinance.

From Aug. 1 to 3, the Probe apprehended 1,122 quarantine violators. (JJL)