By Roi Lomotan
The total amount of fines collected from individuals in Negros Oriental who were caught not wearing face masks has reached P505,000.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Negros Oriental Provincial Director PCol. Julian Entoma announced this in a press briefing held recently at the Visionaire’s Lounge, Dumaguete City.
Entoma said the fines already went to the different city and municipal treasurers’ offices across the province.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Oriental had already passed a resolution on the mandatory wearing of face mask as part of the precautionary measures against COVID-19.
First-time offenders will be fined P200, while the second offense is P500 and the third and subsequent offenses will be charged P1,000 with imprisonment of not more than one month.
Entoma noted most of the violators were first-time offenders.
The provincial police director together with Dumaguete City Police Chief PLTC. Wilfredo Alarcon gave an update on the peace and order situation of the province amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Negros Oriental.
Entoma reported that the provincial police officers arrested and filed cases against 46 individuals for violating the province’s curfew ordinance.
He noted that the provincial police were given orders by their national office to arrest and file cases against curfew violators on April 21.
The provincial PNP only gave warning to those persons apprehended for violating the curfew regulation from April 3 to 20, 2020.
Meanwhile, Entoma also disclosed that officers from Sibulan Municipal Police Station together with operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) also arrested two individuals in Sibulan town last month for selling overpriced face masks while the province is under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
Another person was also arrested in Tanjay City for selling overpriced alcohol.
In Dumaguete City, Police Chief PLTC. Wilfredo Alarcon said a total of 122 persons were arrested and penalized for not wearing face masks while 69 individuals were arrested for going against the curfew regulation.
Aside from this, the city police have also conducted a massive operation against colorum drivers and motorcycle drivers who are not wearing helmets and face masks while driving in cooperation with the PNP-Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and the City Traffic Management Office (TMO).
This operation resulted in the impounding of 15 motorcycles at the HPG compound in Capitol Area, and 132 motorcycles at the TMO with 140 citation tickets issued by the TMO.
Alarcon reiterated the city law enforcement agency will continue to implement the guidelines set by the city government even though the city now under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) along with the rest of Negros Oriental.
“Naa man gyud na guidelines nato sa COVID-19. Ipadayon nato katong (pagdakop sa) not wearing of face mask, curfew nato magabie. Katong mga leisure acitivities na dili pwede pareha ng mag-jogging around the city, maligo sa kadagatan. Everytime naa tay makita ana, ato nang dakpon (We have guidelines against the spread of COVID-19. We will continue apprehending those who will not wear face masks and curfew violators. Leisure activities like jogging around the city and swimming in beaches are still prohibited and we will also apprehend those people who will do this),” Alarcon said.
To this, Entoma also urged everyone to continue to stay at home since there is still no proven vaccine against COVID-19.