QC gov’t eyes stricter punishment vs health protocols violators

Published March 5, 2021, 6:26 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The local government of Quezon City is eyeing to suspend the release of police clearance, occupational permit, barangay clearance, or hawkers’ permit of those who will be caught violating quarantine rules in the city and refuse to pay their fines.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte (QC PIO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Mayor Joy Belmonte on Friday said the city government will no longer “be lenient this time around” as it saw a rising number of new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Marami sa ating mga kababayan ang hindi siniseryoso ang ating mga ordinansa ukol sa ating health protocols (Many of our constituents do not take our ordinances on health protocols seriously). Now, we will give them a reason to take this very seriously,” she said in a statement.

The local government said violators of health protocols, such as non-wearing of face masks in public places, will now also “be fined on the spot to give them a lesson not to put their life and the lives of others at stake.” Previously, city authorities would only issue Ordinance Violation Receipt (OVER) to violators, who were given a chance to pay their fine within five days

Belmonte added that establishments which will violate minimum health standards will also “be dealt with more severely, especially hotels being used as quarantine facilities for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).”

“There were reports that some quarantine hotels allow patients to leave the quarantine premises even before they finish the required quarantine period,” she said.

The mayor said that violators will be immediately penalized under Ordinance No. 2934 S. 2020 or the city’s guidelines on community quarantine.

To ensure that health protocols are observed in the communities, the Department of Public Order and Safety will deploy around 3,000 volunteers to enforce all ordinances related to COVID-19 and are tasked to report which areas are needed to be put under Special Concern Lockdowns (SCL).

As of Friday, March 5, there are 1,627 active COVID-19 cases in the city. According to the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), the city’s average daily new cases is at 149, based on its records from Feb. 25, 2021 to March 4, 2021.