Bacolod’s new normal: Facemasks in public; Violators face fine, community labor

first_imgThe move to institutionalize social distancing and the wearing facemasks in public came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte stated on Tuesday that these two practices must be accepted as the “new normal” until a vaccine against COVID-19) becomes available. On the other hand, erring non-Bacolod residents would have to pay a fine of P1,000; no more community service. BACOLOD City – In this city’s “new normal”, all people would be wearing facemasks in public, and observe social distancing. “The social distancing. Ito ‘yung new life until such time na meron nang vaccine. Sundin lang ninyo ‘yan importante masyado,” he said. Duterte also reminded the public to wear facemasks to avoid being accosted by the police. Baribar hoped for a speedy deliberation and approval of the measure. Any law enforcement agency of the government can apprehend violators, according to Baribar. In a taped public address aired over state-run PTV-4, Duterte made this reminder stressing the importance of flattening the curve or slowing down the rate of COVID-19 infections in the country. The proposed ordinance was included in the agenda of yesterday’s SP session.center_img The wearing of facemasks is mandatory under the government’s quarantine protocols. Under the proposed ordinance, violators would be made to pay an administrative fine of P500 and eight hours of community service in the barangays where they reside. Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, chairperson of the city government’s inter-agency task force against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), confirmed that the city council wanted to institutionalize the wearing of facemasks and social distancing in public as health safety precautions. There is no way for anyone to skirt these when the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) passes an ordinance mandating the practices, according to Councilor Archie Baribar, main proponent. People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales, thus wearing facemasks and social distancing are crucial. “Do not go out of your house without a mask. That is a must. Must comply. Tatapikin ka ng pulis. Hindi ka naman hulihin pero nakakahiya sabihin sa’yo, ‘Adre, tumabi ka muna,” he said. He also warned that the Philippines could not afford to have a “second” and “third” wave of COVID-19 infections./PNlast_img

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