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LGUs urged to pass ‘face mask’ ordinance

The Joint Task Force COVID Shield urged on Sunday Local Government Units (LGUs) to pass an ordinance that would compel their respective constituents to wear face mask and observe physical distancing in order to institutionalize the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) down to the barangay level.

While a number of cities and municipalities already passed an ordinance, there are still LGUs which are yet to pass the ordinance which JTF COVID Shield commander Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar described as a best practice to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“The reality is that we continue to live under the threat of COVID-19 and experts said it will take months or even years before a vaccine is developed and made available to the public. So the most that we could do now is to take the preventive side and let us do it down to the barangay level,” said Eleazar.

He explained that an existing ordinance for mandatory wearing of face masks and observation of physical distancing will empower the LGU enforcers that include barangay security officers (barangay tanod) and members of the LGUs’ Public Order and Safety to help the government in preventing the spread of the virus.

Based on observations and even on social media posts, some people in General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified GCQ have started being complacent on quarantine rules.

“This is the part when enforcement should be beefed up in order to remind and warn people that the threat of coronavirus infection is still there, and this is where LGUs play a key role especially at the barangay level,” said Eleazar.

He said the police, the military and other law enforcement agencies are not enough to guard the entire country, and as such, the government needs all the manpower to remind the people of observing at least the minimum healthy safety protocols. (Aaron Recuenco)