Instead of paying fines, Navotas City residents who will be caught not wearing their face masks properly will have to undergo RT-PCR (reverse transcript polymerase chain reaction) tests for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as penalty.
Mayor Toby Tiangco on Friday said he sought amendment to its existing ordinance which imposes a fine ranging from P250 to P750 on those who will not wear face masks properly, as he said the local government “understands” that its constituents are already “struggling economically.”
“We value the lives of each of our constituents,” he told Manila Bulletin in a Viber message. “We will do whatever it takes to bring down the COVID-19 cases, no matter what it costs, as long as kaya namin (we can).”
In a television interview Thursday night, Tiangco said that amending the ordinance was also part of the local government’s contingency plans amid the rising COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila.
“Kasi posibleng [sa] hindi mo pagsuot ng face mask, doon ka nahahawa (Because it is also possible that you get infected by not wearing your face mask properly,” he said in a One News interview.
The amended ordinance is set to take effect soon. Tiangco said city councilors already finished their first reading of the amendments on Thursday.
“[I] sent the letter Wednesday night [regarding the] amendment of penalty… Public hearing today,” he said.
Tiangco said that an RT-PCR test will be imposed on violators but clarified that if it is the 2nd offense, “within 14 days, then they will have to pay the fine.”
The Navotas City council recently passed Ordinance No. 2020-21 which mandates “the wearing of face mask or other similar protective paraphernalia and equipment” within the city to contain the spread of COVID-19.