CEBU CITY – Roving cops will not hesitate to issue citation tickets to bikers who do not wear a face mask while riding for leisure or work, a police official said on Monday.
Lt. Col. Wilbert Parilla, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) deputy chief for operations, said in a press conference that cops who were on patrol during the weekend apprehended 20 bikers who were caught not wearing any protective gear that was supposed to shield them from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“To all the bikers who want to pedal their way to Cebu City, our appeal to them is to wear a face mask. That’s the least that they can do amid the pandemic. If they continue to defy the health protocol, we will not hesitate to recommend to the Emergency Operations Center to cancel such privilege that we can do that outdoor exercise despite the pandemic,” he said in Cebuano.
Parilla said they understand the difficulty of biking while the nose and mouth are covered with a mask, but this is necessary for preventing coronavirus transmission.
The police will also apprehend establishments that will allow the gathering of bikers and violate the physical distancing protocol.
On Sunday, the police dispersed a bunch of bikers gathered at a snack bar along the Cebu Transcentral Highway.
Parilla said imposing penalties on people who do not wear face masks has been an effective deterrent against health protocol violations.
Violators are slapped with an administrative fine of PHP500 for the first offense; PHP1,000 for the second offense; and PHP3,000 for the third offense based on the City Ordinance 2566, or an ordinance penalizing any violation in relation to the implementation of general/enhanced community quarantine in Cebu City during the public health crisis.
The Department of Health (DOH)-Region 7 said the city has logged a total of 3,187 active Covid-19 cases, as of Sunday. (PNA)