Labella wants higher fines for quarantine violators to be implemented
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella. CDN Digital Photo | Morexette Marie Erram
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella wants the amendment on the penalty for quarantine violators implemented soon in order to deter individuals from violating protocols.
Labella said there is a seeming need to implement higher penalties as people are no longer afraid to violate the health protocols knowing that they only need to pay P500 fine or render community service.
The rise in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases has prompted the Cebu City government to impose additional measures against public gatherings and public movement.
At least 2,000 individuals were apprehended by the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) for the month of January 2021 for quarantine violations.
With this, the liquor ban will be reimposed in the city starting February 3, 2021, while intensified monitoring of movement and minimum health protocols has also been set as cases reached more than 1,500 in just one month.
“Mao hangyoon tamo, mga ka igsuonan, kay kung mobalik ta sa ECQ, simabako magkalisod na sad ta, panginabuhian nasad mawala. Transport wala na sad. So I think duna pay higayon. Time is of the essence, let us be vigilant,” said Labella.
Still, the mayor wants higher penalties to discourage the public to violate the health protocols. A penalty of P1,000 may be enough to stop people from incurring more violations.
The City Council has already amended the Quarantine Ordinance of the city in December 2020 to impose the P1,000 fine for first-time offenders.
However, Councilor Raymond Garcia, the proponent of the amendment, said that this was not implemented because the requirement of publishing the ordinance in a newspaper of general circulation has not yet been completed.
“There are requirements before an ordinance or amendment can be implemented. I will have it checked asa na ang ordinance kay basin wala pa napublish,” said Garcia.
Still, once the publication for 15 days will be completed, the city government can then implement the amended ordinance and violators will be fined with a P1,000 penalty for violating any health protocols. /rcg
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