Face mask ban in Lapu
We hope that Lapu-Lapu City will have better luck in enforcing their own ordinance to ban face masks and tinted helmets after they reactivated its enforcement yesterday.
It’s interesting to note that Lapu-Lapu City enacted their ordinance on the face mask/tinted helmet bans back in 2009 when there were less, infrequent drive by shootings involving motorcycle riding assailants wearing face masks or tinted helmets than there are now.
Rather than elaborate on an obvious point, let’s just say that the 2009 ordinance is practically lightweight when it comes to penalties; P500 for the first offense, P750 for the second offense and P1,000 for the third violation.
It’s lightweight when compared to Mandaue City’s own face mask ban ordinance that was only approved last year and enforced starting this year. Violators will be fined P5,000 and/or imprisonment of at least six months, drawing unfavorable reactions from motorists online.
There were signs that Mandaue City Hall may soften their stance on the face mask ban but there is little doubt that they will repeal the ordinance and we hope that Lapu-Lapu City will adopt a similar stance.
Maybe they will amend their ordinance for stiffer penalties at the risk of incurring the ire of motorists or leave it as is but owing to the rising incidence of drive-by shootings of masked motorcycle-riding assailants, a ban on face masks and tinted helmets is definitely not out of the question.
There are valid reasons to question its enforcement including a complaint that said ban is a lazy way for police to monitor possible suspects in drive-by shootings in much the same way that a cell site shutdown is resorted to by police to avert possible bombings by terrorist groups during events such as the Sinulog.
There were calls to simply augment the checkpoints on entry and exit points in any city or town to prevent the masked shooting suspects from escaping but let’s face the reality that the PNP has limited personnel and resources at its disposal to fully secure any community aside from their duties to augment or oversee traffic management operations.
For motorists concerned about their health, traffic personnel suggested that they use helmets with air filters and transparent face guards to protect themselves from the heat and air pollution.
If the motorcycle riders can afford to acquire motorcycles, surely they can also spend money to buy protective headgear without sacrificing their compliance on the face mask ban? That also includes motorela drivers who may not earn much but can rely on their operators to buy them these special helmets if they want to continue earning a living.
There will be vehement objections but something must be done to enable easy identification of perpetrators of drive-by shootings. And that means taking those face masks and tinted helmets off.
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