CEBU CITY – Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said Friday that she will issue a memorandum directing mayors of the province’s 44 towns and six component cities to abolish fines imposed on individuals caught not wearing facemasks.
The lady governor revealed the new regulation in a meeting with Police Col. Engelbert Soriano, the newly installed chief of the Cebu Provincial Police Office.
“We will take away as well any monetary consideration as penalty for not wearing masks,” Garcia said.
Garcia said the non-imposition of fines will be a big reprieve for the public. She said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the public financially and imposing fines for non-wearing of facemasks is an additional burden.
In some areas in the province, fines as high as P500 are imposed for non-wearing of facemasks.
“It’s hard enough for our people now to eke out a living. We are kinder to criminals than violators of this so-called mask wearing thing. They can be told to wear your mask. Let’s deal with the real criminals and not some illogical imposition,” Garcia said.
Garcia reminded the police to only reprimand quarantine violators, saying that an incident in Luzon in which a man died after he was asked to exercise as a punishment for violating health protocols should not happen in Cebu.
“Police personnel under your jurisdiction, manhandling or mistreating any person caught not wearing a mask they can be reminded to wear a mask. Admonish to wear a mask but never should they be mistreated,” the Cebu governor said.
In response to the governor’s order, Soriano assured that the police will not use excessive force in dealing with quarantine violators.