Thursday, 13 August 2020

Sarangani Ordinance: Wearing of face mask mandatory

ALABEL, Sarangani (April 22, 2020) – Sarangani has made it obligatory for “all persons” to wear face masks when going out in public.

This is in line with Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon’s Executive Order No. 11 which strengthened existing COVID-19 measures under Enhanced Community Quarantine.

On April 20, Solon also approved Provincial Ordinance No. 2020-10-078 which reinforces the mandatory wearing of face mask, with corresponding penalties to violators.

“Every person is required to wear face masks at all times, especially when going outside of their residence, at the workplace, when entering government buildings and offices and when in public places,” according to the ordinance.

It was on April 16 that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, in a special session, passed the ordinance where the measures imposed are emphasized to sustain Sarangani’s status as COVID-19 free.

Board Member Irish Louie Arnado-Beñola, who authored the ordinance, said this is in response to the call of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año for local government units to pass an ordinance requiring their constituents to wear face masks.

The ordinance also supports the EO 10 and EO 11 of Governor Solon which respectively placed the entire Sarangani Province on ECQ and strengthens the existing measures to preclude the transmission of the coronavirus disease to Sarangani, Arnado-Beñola said.

“Gibuhat nato ang ordinansa dili lang para ma-stop ang spread sa COVID-19 kundi para pod maprotektahan ang mga tao,” Arnado-Beñola said.

Vice Governor Elmer de Peralta pointed out the imposition of penalties are among the important sections in the ordinance although offenders will be meted out with only “very simple” penalties like attending community service or awareness campaigns on COVID-19 for at least three hours for the first offense.

Subsequent offenses would require community service in the form of awareness campaign on COVID-19 for at least five hours for five working days in the barangay where the offender resides.

The Philippine National Police in collaboration with approved force multipliers were mandated to enforce the full extent of the ordinance.

As stated, “the ordinance shall be in full force until there is no more local transmission in the entire Philippines” following an official announcement of the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

To effectively promote and encourage compliance to the ordinance, all private commercial establishments operating in Sarangani are required to “conspicuously post and display at or near the entrance of the establishment a signage for mandatory wearing of mask” and to strictly prohibit entry of any person who is not wearing a face mask.

De Peralta also said the SP allocated P500,000 funded through the available appropriation of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management “to enhance the information and education campaign on the significance of the use of face mask.” (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)

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