Over 1,000 reprimanded in Central Luzon for violating face mask rule

PAMPANGA, Philippines – Police on Thursday, April 16, reprimanded some 1,000 people in different parts of Central Luzon for not wearing face masks in public places, and warned them of fines and jail time if they are caught violating the rule again.

Central Luzon police chief Brigadier General Rhodel Sermonia said in a press statement  that all residents in the region are required to wear face masks or other face shields when leaving their homes for essential needs.

“We enjoin the public to adhere to the guidelines on the wearing of face masks and protective gears as well as the observance of social distancing. Stiff penalties of one to 6 months of imprisonment or a fine of P20,000 to P50,000, or both will be imposed to violators,” Sermonia said.

 Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 18 required Luzon residents to wear face masks when leaving their homes, and mandated local governments to issue executive orders or ordinances, with the corresponding penalties, to implement the directive. (READ: Luzon residents now required to wear face masks when leaving home)

Central Luzon's top cop appealed to residents of the region to do their share by staying home and wearing face masks or face covers and maintaining physical distancing when they go out to buy food and other necessities.

Sermonia also disclosed that the regional police was able to help about 10,500 families through the “Rektang Bayanihan” program wherein police officers are encouraged to donate food packs to the poorest in different areas in Central Luzon.

The program also encourages well-off families to adopt at least one poor family during the Luzon-wide lockdown by providing them food and other basic supplies. – Rappler.com