By Aaron Recuenco
The Joint Task Force COVID Shield urged on Thursday local government units to immediately pass an ordinance that would make the wearing of face masks mandatory.
Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, JTF COVID Shield head, said the enactment of a Metro Manila-wide ordinance would make it easy for local police forces to oblige local residents to wear face masks.
Those who will not comply will face fines and other forms of punishment that would be imposed, Eleazar said.
“We appeal to the LGUs to immediately pass an ordinance in their respective areas so that we will have the basis to penalize or arrest those people who go out without wearing face masks,” said Eleazar.
The official made the statement amid reports that a lot of people still go out of their residences while buying food and other basic items without the necessary protection from the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).
Despite the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to make the wearing of face masks for Luzon residents mandatory, the task force has observed that the level of compliance is far from satisfactory.
Once an ordinance is passed, Eleazar said it would be easier for local police forces to implement it.
“We are also seeking the cooperation and assistance of our barangay officials and the barangay tanod for the enforcement of this,” said Eleazar.
So far, local police forces are running after the curfew violators based on the ordinance passed by the LGUs.
Based on the latest JTF COVID Shield data, more than 93,000 curfew violators were accosted but 70 percent of them were only warned while the rest were either charged or fined.