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QC to enforce ‘maximum tolerance’ on improper mask-wearers

By: - Reporter / @JDTiloINQ
/ 04:01 PM May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte announced on Tuesday that the local government will practice “maximum tolerance” on those who are not wearing their face masks properly, after President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to arrest individuals violating the health protocols.

“We will exercise maximum tolerance and enforce our local ordinances in the meantime. As much as possible, we want to avoid detaining them because we lack space in our detention facilities and the virus could easily spread in enclosed spaces,” Belmonte said in a statement.

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“Only those who resist, defy, or assault enforcers will be detained,” she added.

Data from the Quezon City Police Department showed that a total of 825 individuals were arrested from May 6 to 5:00 a.m. of May 11 for improperly wearing face masks.

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A total of 7,600 who lowered their masks to eat or drink were warned, while another 7,886 were fined by authorities, according to the statement.

Belmonte expressed concern on the number of health protocol violators, and has ordered the city government to begin distributing face masks and shields to reduce their number.

A total of 1.2 million face masks and 300,000 face shields will be given to vendors, TODA drivers, senior citizens, and indigent members of the city’s 142 barangays starting Tuesday, according to the city government.

“We are giving out more face masks and face shields especially to our indigent residents who cannot afford to buy, so that hopefully we can reduce the number of health protocol violators,” Belmonte said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on May 6 ordered the Philippine National Police to arrest individuals who are not wearing their face masks properly.

PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar on Monday said those arrested will be detained in barangay and local government units instead of police stations to avoid overcrowding.

Since the order, a total of 904 individuals have been arrested from May 6 to 10 for violating the president’s directive, according to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

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