Violators or those who would be caught not wearing face mask could be put to jail for 10 to 30 days, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año announced Wednesday.
According to Año, he met with local chief executives to discuss a uniform regulation on penalizing violators of quarantine measures.
“Magkakaroon na kami ng uniform implementation kung papaano ipapatupad ‘yung health standards… number of days in prison kapag nag-violate ka ng hindi pagsuot ng mask. We suggest 10 to 30 days, physical distancing also 10 to 30 days imprisonment,” Año said at the pre-SONA forum and press conference.
(We will have a uniform implementation on how to enforce health standards such as the number of days in prison when you violate not wearing a mask. We suggest 10 to 30 days, physical distancing also 10 to 30 days imprisonment.)
“Kung ikaw naman ay ipa-fine, it’s about P1,000 to P5,000. So ‘yan ‘yung magiging uniform implementation natin,” he added.
(If you will pay the fine, it’s about P1,000 to P5,000. That would be our uniform implementation.)
The announcement came after President Rodrigo Duterte told police officers to apprehend and detain wearing of face mask violators amid the COVID-19 threat.
“I have no qualms in arresting people who are not wearing [face] mask. It seems to be trivial, but during a time of pandemic, it can be a serious crime. You are transmitting virus, you are a carrier,” Duterte said in a meeting with Cabinet officials aired on Tuesday morning.
“You have to ask our police to be more strict. Hulihin talaga. If you are brought to a police station and detained there, that will give you a lesson for all time,” Duterte said, addressing Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Año.
“I hate to arrest people for the mere violation of that rule [to wear face mask], pero kailangan ng cooperation. The mayors have to do more,” the President added.
The survey of YouGov, in partnership with the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, showed that 91% of Filipinos always wear masks outside.
The Philippines is the second country with the highest percentage of people who always wear masks outside their homes. Singapore took the top spot with 94%.