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In Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City: Penalty works versus protocol violators
“So far, imposing penalties and fines for failure to wear face mask has been an effective deterrent against protocol violations as far as Cebu City is concerned,” said Councilor Joel Garganera, head of Cebu City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

In Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City: Penalty works versus protocol violators

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - April 19, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City believe fining those who fail to wear a mask is still a deterrent to violating minimum health protocols as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So far, imposing penalties and fines for failure to wear face mask has been an effective deterrent against protocol violations as far as Cebu City is concerned,” said Councilor Joel Garganera, head of Cebu City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Lapu-Lapu Mayor Junard Chan, meanwhile, pointed out:

“Mas maayo nga naa gyuy penalty kay maglisud ta og impose og disiplina ana. Maglisud man gani ta og implement nga naay penalty, unsa na kaha og wala?”

He said the city has arrested up to 800 protocol violators but this number went down to around 100 since it became stricter with its policy in March.

“Ang face mask, mao ang atong taming sa bangis nga kaaway nga gihinganlan og COVID-19,” Chan said.

Their statements came following a statement of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia that she plans of removing the fine and other penalties imposed upon those found not wearing a mask in the province.   She said violators can be warned and be reminded to adhere to health protocols.

She is yet to issue an official directive to this effect.

Garcia shared her plan as she cautioned the provincial police against maltreating those caught not wearing a mask in public.

Penalties

In Cebu City, those caught not wearing a mask and violating other health protocols will be fined P500 or required to render community service. They are also required to attend a seminar on health protocols.

“I think we would like to stick with status quo,” Garganera said.

Initially, the city wanted to impose a P1,500 fine but decided to lower the amount for humanitarian consideration.

In Lapu-Lapu City, violators are fined P1,000 or required to undergo community service such as picking up of trash.

Chan reminded violators:

“Mas bug-at ang community service kaysa mobayad og P1,000 ang violator. Usa pa sad, wala nagkinahanglan ang siyudad og kwarta gikan sa penalty kay kada tawo nga ma-COVID mas dako ang gasto sa siyudad. So, importante nga naa gyuy penalty,” Chan said.

Cases

Based on EOC data, Cebu City’s barged into the 800-mark after with 804 active cases after adding 70 more as of April 17, 2021.

Positivity rate is 8.31 percent out of 842 samples tested.

Data from the Department of Health (DOH)-7, however, still reflect 1,116 active cases for Cebu City as data still have to be harmonized with numbers from the EOC.

The active cases in the city are from 64 barangays. Fourteen other barangays are now without transmission.

Lapu-Lapu, on the other hand, has 861 active cases

Still based on DOH-7 data, Cebu Province has 1,166 active cases including 59 new ones.

Mask remains indispensable

Even with the national government already starting with its vaccination program, health authorities continue to remind the public to continue wearing a mask, even at home, when they are living with an elderly or if they are sick or have exposure to someone who test positive for COVID-19.

DOH-7 spokesperson and chief pathologist, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, said that proper mask wearing is a very important in transmission control.

In the event penalties against not wearing one are lifted, Loreche has this to say:

“We just hope that the people will continue to wear their masks not because there are no more penalties but because they care for themselves and their loved ones.” — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, JMO (FREEMAN)

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