News Release

Arresting face mask violators is enforcement of minimum health standards – Palace

Individuals who will be caught not properly wearing a face mask or face shield will be apprehended per the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his Talk-to-the-People Address on May 5, 2021, said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr.

“Ang mensahe ng Presidente ay kinakailangang ipatupad ang minimum health standards kasama po yung tamang pagsuot, hindi lang po ng face mask, kundi pati rin po yung face shield,” said Secretary Roque in his press briefing today, May 6, 2021.

The Palace official said that aside from proper wearing of face mask and face shield, it is also important to follow other steps being undertaken by the national government and local government units (LGUs) to slow down the transmission and spread of COVID-19, including the enforcement of curfew hours.

Secretary Roque also underscored that arresting violators will be based on local ordinances or a law. In the absence of such ordinances, Sec. Roque said that violators will be detained only for a maximum of 12 hours and will be released if no charges have been filed, as stated in the Revised Penal Code.

“Ang mensahe po ng Presidente sa ating kapulisan at sa taong bayan, para po sa ating kapakanan ang pagsunod sa minimum health standards at ipapatupad lang po natin yan dahil sa panahon ng pandemya, kinakailangan po sumunod ang lahat lalong-lalo na po sa pagsusuot ng face mask at ng face shield,” Roque stressed.

The President’s spokesman further clarified that apprehending the violators of the minimum health standards is not a yet a punishment in itself. “(B)ago mo mapagawa sila ng community service kailangan ma-apprehend mo muna sila, and that’s what the President says, i-apprehend yung mga lumalabag sa minimum health standards,” Sec. Roque remarked.

Roque explained that the police have the authority to apprehend if they themselves saw or witnessed the violation to a law or an ordinance. “(A)ng paglabag sa ating minimum health protocols, dahil mayroon tayong ordinansang nagpapatupad niyan, ay nagbibigay daan para nga magkaroon ng outright apprehension, warrantless arrest dahil a crime was committed in the presence, and with a full personal knowledge of, [a] police officer,” Roque said.

Meanwhile, Roque, who is concurrent spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), reported in the same press briefing the data from the Department of Health that shows a decrease in the Daily Attack Rate per 100,000 population in the National Capital Region (NCR) from 34 on April 4 to 17, to 25 on April 18 to May 1.

“Ganito rin ang nangyari sa ating Two-Week Growth Rate, mula negative 5 [percent] noong April 4 to17, ito ay naging negative 26 percent noong April 18 to May 1,” said Roque.

Sec. Roque also reported that healthcare utilization rate (HCUR) in the NCR likewise improved from 64 percent on March 27, which peaked to 68.3 percent on April 7 to 16, current HCUR as of May 4, 2021 is now at 56 percent.

Roque added that utilization rates for isolation beds, COVID-19 ward beds, and ICU beds also decreased. “(A)ng ating ICU beds nadagdagan na po, hindi lang 700 na, meron na po tayong 1,172. Kaya po nasa 71 percent na po ang ating ICU utilization rate. Kung mapapababa po natin ito to 69 percent, magiging moderate na po ang ating use ng ICU beds,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director-General Jeremiah Belgica presented in the same press briefing, the Philippines’ ranking in the 2020 World Bank Doing Business Report, which placed the country in the overall ranking at 95th in 2020, up from 2019’s ranking of 124th, out of 190 countries. In terms of the Ease of Doing Business Score, the Philippines also had an improved score of 62.8 in 2020, which is up from a score of 57.68 in 2019.

Belgica also mentioned that because of the pandemic, the ARTA was able to prioritize streamlining and automation, which he said is one of the priorities of the President and the LGUs. DG Belgica said that among the LGUs best practices in this regard is the integration of barangays in the business one-stop shop of LGUs and the use of electronic business one-stop shops. ### OPS-PCOO