THE CITY government has reminded Davaoeños anew on the mandatory wearing of face masks following an increase in the number of apprehensions during the past week.

Angel Sumagaysay, the head of the Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC), said a total of 1,140 individuals were apprehended from March 20 to 27, bringing the total apprehended individuals to 11,067 since the start of the enforcement in May 2020.

“The security sector will continue intensifying its apprehensions for those who do not follow health protocols,” Sumagaysay said.

Mayor Sara Duterte has been urging the public to strictly follow health protocols, especially in wearing a face mask since it is the most basic weapon against COVID-19.

“Kanang mask, basic gyud na siya karong panahona sa COVID-19 kay tungod ang kagaw naa siya diha sa laway, ma inhale siya, posible matakdan ang isa ka tawo. Kinahanglan nga dili ta makatakod, dili pud ta matakdan, so ang buhaton nato is tabunan nato ang atoang baba ug ilong (The wearing of a mask is basic in this time COVID-19 – pandemic- because the virus is present in the saliva. So when it is inhaled, another person will be infected. We should not spread the virus and we should not be infected so we need to cover our mouth and nose),” the mayor said during her program over the city-owned Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR).

She also reminded Davaoeños to follow the other basic health protocols, such as physical distancing and frequent handwashing with soap and water.

Ordinance No. 0307-20 or the Face Mask Ordinance took effect on July 23, 2020, and was amended through Ordinance No. 0416-20 to strengthen the enforcement of the ordinance at the barangay level.

Section 3 of the ordinance states that all persons shall, at all times, wear face masks in public places during the Community Quarantine and/or until after the State of Public Health Emergency is lifted as part of the precautionary and safety measures adopted by the City Government against COVID-19 to control and prevent the transmission of such infectious disease.

The Davao City government also gives out face masks and face shields, especially those who cannot afford to buy them for daily use, through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) in the barangays.

The distribution sites have been established for the regular face mask and face shield posts so that people will know where to go if they don’t have the protective equipment.

It is also one of the city government’s ways of strengthening the enforcement of the health measures, particularly the wearing of masks and face shields in all public places, for the safety of everybody.

The ordinance imposes a penalty of P500 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third offense. Serial offenders may also face one-month imprisonment.

In January this year, the city revealed that it collected a total of P451,000 in fines and penalties from violators of the ordinance.

Davao City, along with Iligan City and Lanao del Sur, remains under General Community Quarantine. The status will be reassessed again after April 30.

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Source: Mindanao Times (