THE city government of Manila is tapping traffic enforcers to help in the stricter implementation of stay-at-home and health protocols while Metro Manila is under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) classification amid an alarming surge in COVID-19 infections.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Tuesday launched the COVID Marshal program which saw the deployment of about 400 personnel from the city’s Traffic Parking Bureau. The enforcers have been designated as COVID marshals to help assist local authorities in implementing health protocols.
“Inilunsad po natin ito ngayong araw upang tumulong sa pagpapatupad sa mga health protocols sa lungsod ng Maynila tulad ng pagsusuot ng face mask at pagsunod sa physical distancing (We launched this today [Tuesday]. They will be assisting in the implementation of health protocols in the city of Manila, such as the wearing of face masks and observance of physical distancing when in public places),” Moreno said in brief speech before the marshals were deployed.
Moreno said they will be deployed in public markets and other areas where people tend to congregate. ‘”Mask is a must in Manila under Ordinance 8627. You accost anyone who is not wearing a face mask while outside of their homes,” he directed the marshals, adding that face masks must sufficiently cover ones’ nose and mouth.
Residents who fail to comply with the ordinance will be fined P1,000 for the first offense; P2000 for the second offense; and P5, 000 or one month imprisonment or both for the third and subsequent offense.
While quarantine regulations will be strict and curfew hours have been extended from 8 .m. to 5 a.m., Moreno said he was not imposing a liquor ban will in the city during the MECQ from August 4 to August 18.
Moreno said tricycles, e-trikes and pedicabs will be allowed to operate during the period ”to ease the hardship of and so that employees of companies and industries allowed to operate during the MECQ will have transportation.”