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‘Provide violators masks’



Newly-installed Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar yesterday directed all police officers to provide with free masks violators who will be caught violating health protocols.

Eleazar issued the directive as he reminded that mask violators may only be held for a maximum of 12 hours while undergoing investigation and booking procedure.

As this developed, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) turned over 50,000 washable masks to the PNP in line with the “Libreng Mask para sa Masa” project of President Duterte, which has already given out 26,426,840 free masks to several poor communities around the country.

The washable masks were handed over to Eleazar’s office after DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez committed to providing the needed mask.

The Trade chief stressed the distribution of masks to health protocol violators is part of the government’s efforts to reduce the number of active cases in the country and mitigate the impact of the pandemic to our economy.

“With the strict compliance of Filipinos, we can safely push for the reopening of low-risk, essential business activities while keeping communities safe from the threats of the pandemic. What we aim for, apart from the ongoing health initiatives, is to reverse the negative impact of the imposed lockdowns to our local micro, small, and medium enterprises,” Lopez explained.

The DTI’s measure resonates with Senator Christopher “Bong” Go’s emphasis for malasakit in handing masks to violators, especially to the less fortunate.

The PNP said the records of mask violators will be checked to determine if they have a previous arrest record of the similar offense, for which the appropriate penalty for repeat offenders will apply.

Meanwhile, violators found to have an outstanding warrant of arrest will undergo further appropriate police action in coordination with judicial authorities.

with Raffy Ayeng