District 2 Councilor Winston Castelo of Quezon City is batting for the removal of fines and a jail term in an approved ordinance penalizing anyone caught not wearing a face shield in the former country’s capital.
He said he, along with two other councilors, filed a proposed measure to scrap the penalties under Ordinance 2965 of 2020.
“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,” he said.
“It’s not a crime to be poor and the imposition of these forms of punishment is anti-poor,” he stressed.
Ordinance 2965 imposes a P300 fine for a first-time offender, a P500 fine for a second-time offender, and a P1,000 fine or imprisonment of up to one month, or both at the discretion of the court, for a third-time offender.
“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,” Castelo said.
Violators are even exposed to contract Covid-19 by having them go to the city hall to settle their fines, he said.