DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Davao City Council has passed an ordinance that will impose fines and penalties for persons or establishments caught not observing physical distancing and other health protocols during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The ordinance will be known as the Davao City Minimum Health Protocols for Covid-19 Ordinance, and was authored by Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte from the Council’s Committee of Health.
Villafuerte, a medical practitioner, explained later in an interview that the ordinance does not seek to imprison Davaoeños for violating protocols, but rather it shall serve to “deter” people and enforce “discipline”.
The ordinance mandates all persons to wear masks or face shield, and to keep physical distancing of one meter or three feet apart from persons in public and even in private places.
The ordinance enumerated public places including business establishments, markets, pharmacies, banks, remittance centers, medical and quarantine facilities, private and government offices, and other institutions authorized or allowed to operate under Community Quarantine.
The rules will also be implemented in roads and alleys in communities, barangays, and subdivisions, as well as in checkpoints, and entrance and exit points of the city
Persons who violate these rules will have an option to pay for penalties or to render community services and be exempted from criminal liability.
Owners and managers of establishments will also be penalized if found that clients fail to observe the protocols.
The first offense will be meted a P5,000 fine. But successive offenses will include suspension of business permit for one month for the second offense, and the suspension will extend for three months, six months and one year for the third, fourth, and fifth offense.
If the offender is a public officer or government employee, an administrative case may be filed against them and be penalized with community service.
A report from SunStar Davao cited Davao City Police data that there had been 9,758 persons apprehended for violating quarantine protocols from March 15 until November 18. Violating the mandatory food and medicine pass and the curfew made up nearly half of the offenses. Failure to follow physical distancing came in third with 2,071 cases.
The violators were brought to the police stations to record their offense and were told they will be facing legal charges. (davaotoday.com)covid-19, Covid-19 effect on economy, davao city, Davao City Minimum Health Protocols for Covid-19 Ordinance, Local ordinance, pandemic