PNP to arrest people improperly wearing face masks: DILG

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (File photo)

MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), together with the Philippine National Police (PNP), is prepared to immediately implement the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to apprehend individuals who will be caught not properly wearing a face mask or face shield.

“In order to sustain the decline in Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases across the country, authorities must strictly implement and enforce all minimum health standards and protocols, especially the proper wearing of face masks and face shields and the strict enforcement of curfew hours,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a news release on Friday.

Año said he has instructed the PNP to ensure that the apprehension of violators shall always be based on the law and local ordinances where violators will be warned and instructed by police and local authorities to wear the face mask or face shield properly.

“If the individual will defy or refuses to comply, arrests may be made by the police in order to protect public health and safety. In the absence of a local ordinance, violators will be detained for a maximum of 12 hours and will be released if no charges have been filed, as provided in the Revised Penal Code,” he added.

Año said in case detention is necessary, he has directed the Joint Task Force Covid Shield to instruct all police stations across the country to prepare detention areas that do not violate minimum health standards.

“They shall coordinate with the barangay and the LGUs (local government units) so that additional facilities outside of police stations may be utilized for this purpose to prevent crowding and mass gatherings,” he said. (PR)

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