In Davao City, 5,000-peso fine for persons who violate 14-day quarantine

DAVAO CITY (MindaNew / 14 August) – The Department of Health regional office on Friday welcomed the passage of an ordinance imposing a fine of 5,000 pesos on persons, including locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), who violate the mandatory 14-day home quarantine, saying this will help manage the surge in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city.

In a virtual press conference on Friday, Dr. Cleo Fe Tabada, head of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of DOH-Davao, said despite calls on the people to  follow minimum health protocols, there are still those who breach them which resulted to more COVID-19 transmissions in the city.

San Pedro St. in Davao City on 23 June 2020.  Mindanews photo

“Actually, if you look at the intervention, we’ve proposed already several minimum health protocols that should be maintained and should be done by each and every one, of course, also in facilities and in workplaces. These are simple protocols but we’ve seen several people, not following or breaching these protocols,” she said.

Authored by Davao City 3rd District Councilor Mary Joselle D. Villafuerte, the legislation “to penalize all persons violating the mandatory 14-day home quarantine for COVID-19 imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) or any public health authority authorized to impose the same,” was passed last Tuesday by the City Council of Davao.

Tabada believes this stringent measure would compel people to adhere to the 14-day mandatory quarantine.

“I think the institution of penalties hopefully will increase the number of people who will follow these protocols. So, if we cannot follow minimum protocols, we are quite sure that we will have transmission, so at least if we can meet these minimum health protocols, and it takes implementation of penalties for everyone to follow it, it will really be very helpful,” she said.

Section 5 of the ordinance states this will apply to all asymptomatic returning OFWs, whether sea-based or land-based, subject to arrangements, and rules and regulations imposed by the governing authority; asymptomatic ROFs and holder of permanent resident visas; asymptomatic LSIs; asymptomatic healthcare workers with unprotected exposure, defined as working in a healthcare facility with confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days without appropriate PPE; asymptomatic non-healthcare workers who test IgM positive in rapid tests, are required to undergo isolation at home or at a community quarantine facility for 14 days; and other such cases which require mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

The legislation also states that the DOH Center for Health Development Davao, City Health Office, Davao City Police Office, Punong Barangay, and respective Barangay Health Emergency Response Team will handle its monitoring.  (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)