WITH the demand for oxygen tanks increasing due to the outbreak of the Delta variant of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Mandaue City Councilor Joel Seno has proposed the passage of an ordinance regulating the sale or lending of medical oxygen in the city.

The City Council already approved Seno’s draft ordinance on first reading during its regular virtual session on Aug. 3, 2021. The second and final reading will be on Aug. 18.

Seno told SunStar Cebu that he came up with the proposal after some metro residents resorted to panic buying medical oxygen tanks.

Section 5 of his draft ordinance states that “hoarding of medical oxygen by any person or entity shall be prohibited and the suppliers, distributors and or wholesalers and retailers shall implement a limit as to the number of medical oxygen purchased in accordance with the guidelines to be set by the city mayor.”

Violators will face a fine of P5,000 and imprisonment of not less than three months without prejudice to the filing of other appropriate criminal, civil and administrative charges for violation of other pertinent laws, rules and regulations.

Section 6 states that “the use of medical oxygen in any and all medical and hospital facilities should only be facilitated by medical personnel duly authorized by such medical and or hospital facility.” It added that “the priority on the use of the medical oxygen should be given to those who have respiratory difficulties as determined by the local health authorities.”

Violators will face a fine of P1,000. If the offender is a public officer then he or she will be subject to the fine without prejudice to the filing of appropriate criminal, civil, and or administrative charges for the violation of other pertinent laws, rules and regulations.

Seno told SunStar Cebu that his proposal does not require a medical prescription for the purchase of medical oxygen tanks. He said he will leave it to the mayor and the local health board to decide whether one will be required.

He said the following offices will be tasked to implement and enforce provisions of the ordinance: City Mayor’s Office, City Health Office, Business Permit and Licensing Office and the Public Information Office.

Seno said Mandaue City has only six establishments identified as sellers of medical oxygen tanks. (KFD)