By Jel Santos
Wearing face masks is now mandatory in Makati City during the span of the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Mayor Abigail “Abby” Binay announced on Monday.
The mayor said the City Council has recently passed City Ordinance No. 2020-089 mandating the wearing of face masks or other protective gear outside the home while the city is dealing with a public health emergency.
According to the local government, penalties for violations are as follows: “First offense: A fine of P1, 000; Second offense: A fine of P3, 000; Third and succeeding offenses: A fine of P5, 000 and/or a maximum of six months imprisonment upon the discretion of the court.”
“We pushed for these new ordinances mainly to reinforce current efforts to stem the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. But their purpose extends beyond the current pandemic to cover similar health emergencies in the future. With these legislations in place, we would be able to take swift and resolute measures to effectively stop the spread of infectious diseases,” Binay said in a statement.
Under City Ordinance No. 2020-089, people in the city–residents and workers–are required to wear face masks or other similar protective gear when outside the premises of their home during the state of public health emergency or similar declarations.
Wearing of face masks or other similar protective equipment is also mandatory in the common areas of condominiums, hotels, motels, apartments, apartels, and the like, it stated.
Likewise, the city government directs establishments and transport services to require all persons entering or boarding them to wear face masks or other similar protective equipment.
The establishment or transport service may refuse access to persons not wearing face masks or other similar protective equipment during the said period, the local government said.
Makati City said protective equipment that may be used are face shields, ear-loop masks, cloth masks, handkerchiefs, scarfs, indigenous, reusable, or do-it-yourself masks and other similar protective equipment as may be deemed necessary to protect the wearer and to prevent the spread of infection or illness.
Binay said the City Council also passed the City Ordinance No. 2020-088, or “The Mandatory Quarantine Ordinance of the City of Makati” requiring any person who is infected or suspected to be infected with an infectious or communicable disease to be placed under mandatory quarantine for a period of seven days or longer as determined by the guidelines and protocols issued by the Department of Health (DOH), Makati Health Department (MHD) or other governing bodies. Current DOH protocols for COVID-19 prescribe a 14-day quarantine.
In addition, any person who has been in contact with an infected person, person under investigation or person under monitoring, will be placed under mandatory home quarantine for seven days or longer, based on DOH guidelines, or will be quarantined in places or institutions designated as quarantine areas by the DOH, MHD, or other governing bodies.
“First-time and second-time offenders will be fined P5,000, while those who violate the ordinance three times or more will face up to one-year imprisonment in addition to the P5,000-fine,” the LGU warned.
Makati City clarified that the ordinance does not apply to persons with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) or other kinds of infectious/communicable diseases that do not call for mandatory quarantine for the prevention of its transmission.