Pateros mayor orders arrest of face mask, shield violators due to Delta variant threat

Published July 28, 2021, 9:15 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

Pateros Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III has ordered the arrest of people violating the mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields in the municipality due to the threat of the highly contagious Delta variant.

“We know the emerging problem of the increase in the number of active positive cases of COVID-19 due also to the increasing number of discovered Delta variant cases among those who were tested positive,” he said in a live broadcast on Facebook Wednesday.

Distribution of face shields in Pateros last year (Pateros municipal government)

Because of the Delta variant cases in Metro Manila, he said it is really frightening to go back to the past situation wherein there were many COVID-19 cases in Pateros.

He said to prevent this, the municipal government will be tightening rules focusing on the strict implementation of health protocols and border control.

During the “Laging Handa” public briefing Wednesday, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) revealed that there are 25 Delta variant cases in Metro Manila.

According to Dr. Manuel Mapue II, chief of the DOH-National Capital Region Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, of the 25 Delta cases, Manila has 10, Pasig has seven, San Juan has two and one case each is in Taguig, Las Pinas, Makati, Malabon, Quezon City and Paranaque City.

Of the total, eight have recovered, one died and 16 are active cases.

Ponce said as part of the measures, those who are not wearing or improperly wearing face masks and face shields will be arrested.

“We will tighten the implementation of minimum health protocols. If in the past few days, you were just reminded, we will now make an arrest. If you are caught not wearing face masks and you are improperly wearing face shields, you will be arrested and you will be brought to the holding area. I ask for your understanding because we need to do this for your own safety,” the mayor warned.

Ponce added, “We don’t know if we already have the Delta variant in our municipality because those who are tested for genome sequencing are those who tested positive way back.”

Under Municipal Ordinance 2020-20, face mask or face shield violators face a fine of P2,000 or detention for at least 12 hours. If the violator is a minor, the parent or guardian will face the penalty.

In addition, the mayor said he has also ordered the closure of the entry and exit point going to and from Makati called “Putol na Tulay” at the corner of E. Quiogue and G. De Borja Streets in Brgy. Aguho in Pateros.