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REMOVE ‘NO FACE SHIELDS’ PENALTIES IN QC

Quezon City Councilor Winnie Castelo is urging the City Council to remove the penalties imposed by city Ordinance No. 2965, S-2020 on people caught not wearing face shields 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 District 2 Congressman and now Councilor Winnie Castelo said.

Even the DILG and DOH do not recommend the imposition of penalties in several statements, Castelo concluded.

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 jail time 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 fines.

Even the DILG and DOH do not recommend the imposition of penalties in several statements, Castelo concluded.

Castelo’s co-authors of the proposed ordinance are Councilors Karl Edgar Castelo of District 5 and Melencio Castelo Jr. of District 6.

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