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No free pass: Joy Belmonte orders crackdown on violators of health protocols

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Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte announced that the local government will crack down on violators of various ordinances on minimum health protocols following a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

Belmonte said violators of health protocols, such as non-wearing of face masks in public places, will be fined on the spot to teach them a lesson not to put their lives and the lives of others at risk.

“Marami sa ating mga kababayan ang hindi siniseryoso ang ating mga ordinansa ukol sa ating health protocols. Now, we will give them a reason to take this very seriously as we won’t be lenient this time around,” she said.

Ordinances SP-2957, S-2020, and SP-2985, S-2020 — which mandates the wearing of face masks in public places and directing all those below 15 years old to remain at home, respectively – both impose a fine of P300, P500, and P1,000, for the first, second and third offenses, respectively.

The city government only issued Ordinance Violation Receipt (OVR) to violators in the past. The receipt allowed violators to pay the fine within a five-day period.

Belmonte’s order on fining violators immediately came after Dr. Rolly Cruz, head of the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), reported that the average daily new cases in the city reached 149 from Feb. 25, 2021 to March 4, 2021.