Council mulls stiffer fines for mask violators

ANYONE caught not properly wearing a face mask in Mandaue City will soon be fined up to P5,000.

The Mandaue City Council has approved, on first reading, a proposed amendatory ordinance on the wearing of face masks in public places at all times.

Mandaue City Councilor Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, chairperson of the City’s health committee, proposed the amendment as a way to adapt to the “new normal” and to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Last April, the City Council approved an ordinance on the wearing of face masks in public places, but the measure carried light penalties.

In the original ordinance, violators were to be reprimanded for the first and second offenses and fined P1,000 on the third offense.

Ruiz said if this were to be implemented, it would not be effective.

The ordinance approved last April has not yet been enforced pending its publication in newspapers.

In Ruiz’s proposed amendment, violators will be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third offense.

Any mask

The proposed ordinance does not require a specific kind of mask to be worn in Mandaue City.

Barangay tanods, policemen and other law enforcement agencies in Mandaue City will be tasked to enforce the ordinance once it becomes a law.

The proposed legislation was forwarded to the committee on laws for further deliberation and evaluation.

It still has to pass second and final readings before its formal submission to Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes for his signature. (KFD)