STIFF SANCTIONS. The Cebu Provincial Board passes an ordinance on Monday (Sept. 7, 2020) imposing fine and jail term for individuals who will be caught not wearing face mask. Cebu City also implemented last August 16 an ordinance that will slap fine and jail term to those who are violating quarantine protocols such as not wearing or taking off the face mask while in public places. (PNA photo by John Rey Saavedra)

CEBU CITY – Stiffer penalties await residents of Cebu province who would defy the mandatory wearing of face masks in public places and those who improperly dispose them.

This, after the Provincial Board (PB) enacted and carried unanimously on Monday an ordinance seeking penalty for non-wearing and improper disposal of face masks.

A fine of PHP2,000 and imprisonment of three months or both will be meted on first offense, a fine of PHP3,000 and imprisonment of six months or both on second offense and PHP5,000 fine and six-month imprisonment on third offense

Section 5 of the ordinance authored by Cebu 4th District PB member Kerrie Keane Shimura, chairperson of the PB Committee on Public Health, seeks to “require all persons within the territorial jurisdiction of the Province of Cebu the mandatory use and wearing of face mask at all times when outside of their residences, other residences, at the workplace, in public utility vehicles, public places, business establishments, and in all other circumstances with other people or when exposed to two or more persons in a given public place”.

Section 6 reads that “all persons wearing their own face mask is also responsible for proper disposal. Used face masks shall be cut into two parts to avoid reuse. At the option of the user, he/she may reuse his/her face mask for other purposes like, but not limited to, gardening but strictly not for the same purpose as its original use.”

“Reuse of face mask for other purposes shall not be detrimental to other persons living within the same house or compound and that households should have a separate receptacle for disposable face masks,” the ordinance further reads.

Public offices are also required to have a separate container, receptacle or garbage bin within their respective premises with the corresponding markers or instructions for disposal.

Business establishments shall also provide separate garbage bins or any other receptacles particularly intended for disposable face masks in their business premises with the corresponding markers or instructions for disposal.

Meanwhile, in Cebu City, violators of quarantine protocols, such as non-wearing of face masks, are slapped with PHP1,500 fine or possible 30-day jail term for the first offense, PHP3,000 fine or 30-day in jail for the second offense, and a PHP5,000 fine and 30 days in jail for the third offense.

Under Ordinance 2566 which took effect starting last August 16, the restrictions punished are mass gatherings, loitering, non-wearing of masks, and public consumption of alcohol, among others.

Lawyer Rey Gealon, Mayor Edgardo Labella’s spokesperson and City Attorney, said those who take off their mask while in public places may be apprehended for violating the quarantine protocols.

Gealon said even marketgoers at the Carbon Public Market, the biggest wet market in Cebu, may also be slapped with fine and jail time if they take off their mask and face shield. (PNA)