Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte expressed support to penalizing the non-wearing of face masks in public places as some people continue to defy guidelines on the minimum health measures to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

Mayor Sara said that it is about time that the city imposes penalties for those who do not wear face masks since some still do not follow even with the issuance of executive orders the past months.

“Diri sa Davao, sayo kaayo ta nagsugod sa pagmandate na magsuot og facemask ang mga tao dinha sa tanan nga public places. Sa pagka-karon, aduna na tay makit-an nga uban nga mo-comply or dili. So there is a need already na maghatag na og penalty sa mga tao nga dili magsuot og facemask because ang facemask gyud ang atoang first line of defense against Covid-19 (In Davao, we have been mandating the wearing of face masks in all public places and we see some people comply and do not comply. So there is a need already to impose a penalty for those people who do not wear face masks. The face masks are our first line of defense against Covid-19),” she said in an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio on Friday.

Davao City government now imposes penalties on the non-wearing of masks after the City Council on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, passed a city ordinance requiring the use of masks whenever in public places where social distancing is not possible.

The ordinance takes effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

The ordinance requires the use of face mask in all public places during the Community Quarantine or until the State of Public Health Emergency is lifted and providing penalties thereof’ is passed under suspended rules of the City Council’s regular session.

Violators of the ordinance have to pay an administrative fee of P500 for the first offense; P2,000 for the second offense; and, P5,000 or one-month imprisonment for the third offense.

Aside from requiring Dabawenyos to wear face masks in public places, the ordinance, also requires all private and public establishments to put up signs such as ‘No Mask, No Entry’ inside their premises.

Mayor Sara reiterated that by wearing face masks one does not only protect themselves but also protecting other people and helping the government.

“By wearing your face mask, you are helping your city, your government control the increase in cases. And of course, you are protecting people in your household—children and senior citizens,” she said. CIO