By Chito Chavez
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Tuesday ordered the mandatory wearing of face masks in the city’s public places as efforts are further taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease- 2019 (COVID-19).
In signing Executive Order No. 25, Series of 2020, Belmonte made mandatory for city residents to wear any form of covering for the nose and mouth which may be medical masks, industrial masks, earloop masks, do-it-yourself masks, cloth masks, improvised masks, face shields, and the like.
She noted the move is necessary to at least lessen, if not prevent, the spread of the virus.
Belmonte issued the order after the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) enjoined local government units (LGUs) to pass an ordinance requiring the mandatory wearing of face masks in public places.
Under Belmonte’s order, public places include, but are not limited, to “streets, highway, sidewalks, parking lots, vacant lots, and the common areas in and about churches, apartment, buildings, office buildings, hospitals, schools, malls or shopping centers, commercial establishments, and places of entertainment such as movie theaters and similar places or establishments.”
She directed the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), all barangay officials, the Department of Public Order and Safety, Task Force Disiplina, the Market Development and Administration Department, and other concerned offices of the local government to enforce the order.
Penalties for violators will be imposed based on Sec. 9 (c) of Republic Act No. 11332.
Belmonte said the city’s enforcers will distribute masks to people who do not have one so they can comply with the order.
“Bibigyan natin ng masks ang mga magpapatupad ng kautusang ito para ipamigay sa ating mga residente. Para sa susunod, wala nang dahilan para hindi sila sumunod (We will provide the law enforcers with the masks that will be distributed to local residents to ensure that the order is strictly followed),” Belmonte explained.
The order will be in effect during the implementation of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).