Gym in Subic Freeport shut down for COVID-19 protocol breach
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has closed a gym and fitness center here which allegedly violated health protocols for COVID-19.
In a statement on Thursday (April 8), Ronnie Yambao, SBMA deputy administrator for health and safety, said the Victory Gym and Athletic Club was ordered to cease operations for two weeks as penalty for a first offense.
Yambao said his office received a series of verified complaints that gym customers were not wearing face masks and not heeding social distancing during workouts.
Citing a board resolution of the SBMA, Yambao said the agency would penalize business locators that fail to enforce measures to prevent transmission of SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, in workplaces.
The penalty for first offense is closure for two weeks. The second offense merits suspension of the business’ Certificate of Registration and Tax Exemption (CRTE) for six months, while the third merits the cancellation of CRTE.
The SBMA board has also set fines for anyone caught not wearing or improperly wearing face masks in public places or violating health protocols—P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense and P5,000 for every succeeding violations.
The same penalties apply to failure to wear face shields where they are required.
Victory Gym is inside the Subic Commercial and Light Industrial Park near Manila Avenue. It offers state-of-the-art facilities for weight training, as well as ancillary programs like Zumba and boxing.
“Initially, the gym management reasoned out that their customers only removed face masks during picture-taking, but more anonymous reports sent to SBMA showed gym clients flouting the rules,” Yambao said.
Last March 18, the SBMA issued a show cause letter ordering the gym to explain why it should not be penalized for the reported violations.
An investigation and review of documents proved that the company violated health protocols, Yambao said.
The SBMA served the order for temporary closure of the gym on Monday (April 5) and warned that another violation would result in the suspension of its CRTE.
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