Navotas has new ordinances penalizing violators of COVID-19 health protocols | Inquirer News
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Navotas has new ordinances penalizing violators of COVID-19 health protocols

/ 01:05 AM April 05, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Navotas City Council has passed additional ordinances that will penalize violators of COVID-19 protocols, according to a statement issued by the city government on Sunday.

Ordinance No. 2021-19 imposes a fine of P5,000 on those who violate 6 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew, the mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields, and the 24-hour curfew for minors who have no valid government identification cards.

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“The ordinance was passed following reports that violators give falsified information to barangay enforcers which prevent them from being line-listed for a free, mandatory swab test,” the statement said.

“Navotas recently ruled that violators of safety protocols should get tested for COVID-19,” it added.

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Another ordinance requires operators of jeepneys plying Navotas to install transparent plastic sheets or acetate barriers between the driver’s seat area and passengers’ compartment and between the rows of seats to ensure physical distancing. These barriers should be replaced whenever damaged or worn out.

The ordinance also mandates that the passenger load of jeepneys should not be more than half of their full capacity — excluding the driver and conductor.

Violators of this ordinance will be fined P500 for the first offense, P750 for the second, and P1,000, for the third and subsequent offenses.

The city council also amended the ordinance on face shields. It now requires RT-PCR swab tests for people caught not wearing a face shield in public vehicles, workplaces, markets, or other enclosed places.

Under this amended ordinance, second-time offenders will be fined P500 or be required to render 16 hours of community service under the supervision of any city office — if they are apprehended within 14 days of their first violation.

If 14 days have passed, they will have to undergo another free, mandatory swab testing.

“If RT-PCR tests are unavailable, the penalty will be P500 or 16 hours of community service. If the violators are minor, their parent or guardian shall undergo the swab test or pay the fine,” the city statement said.

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Mayor Toby Tiangco also issued a reminder.

“We urge everyone to continue to follow the minimum safety protocols. Wear your face mask properly. Wear your face shield when necessary. Practice social distancing,” he said.

“Always wash your hands with soap and water or disinfect with alcohol. And stay at home as much as you can. These simple deeds can save lives, and these can help us end the pandemic,” he added.

The Philippines has been trying to fend off another recent surge in COVID-19 cases, which has been attributed by health experts to the rise of new variants of the coronavirus.

Many of the cases were recorded in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal — areas that have been classified as a single so-called bubble under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

As of Sunday, the country has a total of over 135,526 active cases, most of them inside the bubble.

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