November 29, 2023

City Councilor Joel Alangsab wants the public to use a separate trash bin when disposing of their used face masks to minimize the risks of the Covid-19 contagion.
In a proposed ordinance, Alangsab seeks to mandate the use of face mask bins in all households, schools, workplaces, government facilities, business establishments, outdoor spaces such as parks and markets, and other public places.
The proposed ordinance seeks to amend Ordinance 45-2020, which imposes the wearing of face masks when going to public places.
Once approved, the amendatory ordinance shall prohibit the dumping of used masks in trash bins that contain other wastes.
Alangsab said the indiscriminate disposal of used masks, particularly the single-use ones, is worrisome as it might pose health risks to the populace.
“Face masks used by health workers and patients are treated as medical waste and disposed of properly. However, it is not the case for face masks used by the public. These may contain (the virus that causes) the Covid-19, so they should not be randomly discarded as normal waste,” Alangsab said.
The proposed amendatory ordinance was approved on first reading and referred to the committee on health and sanitation, ecology, and environmental protection for review.
Other prohibited acts on the use of face masks under Ordinance 45-2020 are the following:
Going to public places, buildings, national roads or highways, sidewalks, walkways, public conveyance, and other similar establishments without wearing a face mask;
Going to workplaces/work spaces, whether enclosed or outdoor, without wearing a face mask;
Plying city roads, alleyways, or streets, whether riding a public or private vehicle or a motorcycle, without wearing a face mask; and
Transacting business with any person without putting on a face mask.
Violators are fined P1,000 on first offense; P2,000 on second offense; and P3,000 and cancellation of business permit, if applicable, on third offense.
The same sanctions shall be imposed on individuals who are caught discarding their used face masks indiscriminately. – Jordan G. Habbiling