PROBE fears rise in quarantine violators with reduced penalty
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement (PROBE) team is concerned that the number of quarantine violators may increase once the reduced penalty of quarantine violators will be implemented.
The City Council passed the reduction of penalty for quarantine violators in Cebu City to P500 for the first offense and P1,500 for second offense without jail time.
In the original version of the ordinance that began its implementation on August 16, 2020, first offenders are fined P1,000 while second offenders are fined P1,500 but both will have to be detained as their charges are processed in court.
Only the penalty for third offenses and multiple offenses remained as is with a penalty of P3,000 and a maximum jail time of 30 days to be determined in the court.
PROBE Head Racquel Arce told CDN Digital that the violators decreased massively with the implementation of the penalties where even first-time offenders would be detained in jail and face the court for violating quarantine protocols.
“Among nadapkan sukad atong Agosto 16 kay usa ra gyod. Amo lang na walay labot sa pulis, pero ikumpara nato sauna nga moabot og 500, dako kaayo na nga improvement,” said Arce.
(We only caught one violator since August 16. That is only from our efforts, not including the police, but if we compare it before when violators are caught by the hundreds, this is a great improvement.)
Arce said that she was concerned that once the reduced penalty would be implemented, 15 days after its publication in general circulation, the city would see more quarantine violators.
She urged residents not to be complacent with the reduced penalty because the PROBE team and the police would still strictly go after quarantine violators.
Though the penalty would no longer that harsh, she reminded that if they would reach the third offense, they would have to go to jail and face the court./dbs
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