By Argyll Geducos
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) leading the government’s efforts against COVID-19 said they have not released guidelines requiring consumers to wear face masks when entering supermarkets nor for the public to pay for their quarantine passes.
In a press briefing, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the wearing of face masks is not a requirement before a customer is allowed to enter a supermarket.
“Ang amin lamang patakaran, ang rules lang namin ay magkaroon lamang ng social distancing sa mga supermarkets. So ganoon na lang po ang sundin natin,” he said.
(The only rule that must be followed is on social distancing inside supermarkets. Let’s just follow that.)
“Made-determine naman ng mga supermarkets kung ilan ang pwede nilang papasukin to make sure na may social distancing sa loob.”
(The management of supermarkets will be able to determine how many patrons should be allowed inside the establishment at a time to ensure there is social distancing.)
Nograles, who is also the spokesperson for the IATF for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, was reacting to reports of some supermarkets refusing the entry of customers who are not wearing face masks.
Meanwhile, Nograles warned local government units (LGUs), particularly barangays, to not sell the community quarantine passes that should be given for free to the representatives of every household.
Nograles made the statement following reports that some residents had to pay for the quarantine pass given out by their barangays.
“Hindi po pwede gumawa ng ganyang klaseng mga pangongotong or pang-aabuso po,” he said. (That kind of extortion or abuse is prohibited.)
Nograles told local officials that they may face the maximum penalty when they commit a crime during the state of calamity.
“Kung meron pong pang-aabuso, lalong-lalo na pagdating sa mga LGUs or sa mga barangay, ‘di umano, ay ang DILG at ang PNP na po ang bahala po diyan,” he said. (If there is abuse involving LGUs or barangays, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and Philippine National Police will take care of that.)
“In a state of calamity, any abuses, baka yung maximum penalty ang maaari pang isampa sa inyo (you may get the maximum penalty).”
The IATF is allowing one family member per household to go out and buy basic necessities like food and medicine during the period of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.