A lawyer and councilor in Muntinlupa said the police can only impose fines but not detain face mask violators based on an existing city ordinance.
Atty. Raul Corro, the Muntinlupa City Council’s majority floor leader, told the Manila Bulletin that Ordinance No. 2020-109, which imposes the mandatory wearing of face masks outside residence, does not provide any detention or imprisonment for violators.
“We only provided payment of fines and no detention,” he said.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the police to arrest people who are caught not wearing face masks properly.
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has ordered the preparation of detention areas for face mask violators.
Under Muntinlupa’s Ordinance 2020-109, approved in July last year, only fines are imposed on persons found not wearing face masks. It requires all persons in Muntinlupa “to wear face masks at all times outside of their residences, at the workplace, when entering government buildings and offices, and while in public places.”
For adult violators, a fine of P300 is imposed for the first offense, P500 fine for the second, and P1,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.
If the violator is a minor, a stern warning is given for the first offense, withdrawal of scholarship grant from the local government or P300 fine for non-grantee for the second offense, and P500 for third and subsequent offenses. The fines will be imposed on the parents or guardians.
From 5 a.m. of May 9 to 5 a.m. of May 10, the Muntinlupa City government caught an additional 225 persons who were not wearing or were improperly wearing face masks and face shields. Last Friday,it caught 1,326 face mask violators for a total of 1,551 persons.
The Muntinlupa City government is urging people to wear face masks and face shields, and observe social distancing when outside their residence to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
As of May 9, Muntinlupa has 11,849 confirmed COVID-19 cases including 10,443 recoveries and 311 deaths, leaving 1,095 active cases, down from 1,032 recorded on May 3.