THE city council of Quezon City has been urged to remove the penalties in Ordinance No. 2965, S-2020 for people caught not wearing a face shield amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We do not oppose the wearing of a face shield, but there should be no P300 to P1,000 fines and/or imprisonment for not wearing it because people are already suffering from the pandemic. It’s not a crime to be poor and the imposition of these forms of punishment is anti-poor,” former 2nd District Congressman and now Councilor Winnie Castelo said.
Castelo is one of the authors of a proposed ordinance to scrap the penalties.
“If we continue to insist on the wearing-of-a-face-shield requirement, the government should provide the face shields for free. Otherwise, we should remove the penalties. Community work as punishment would suffice,” he said.
The penalties under Ordinance No. 2965 are a fine of P300 for the first offense, P500 for the second violation and P1,000 or imprisonment of up to one month, or both at the discretion of the court, for the third offense.
He pointed out that the city is even exposing violators to the virus by having them go to City Hall to pay their fines.
Even the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Health (DoH) do not recommend the imposition of penalties in several statements, Castelo concluded.
Castelo’s co-authors of the proposed measure to revise the ordinance are Councilors Karl Edgar Castelo of District 5 and Melencio Castelo Jr. of District 6.