June 1, 2023

The city government will soon enforce the Face Mask and Face Shield Ordinance following completion of its amendment process.

The council approved on April 5 Ordinance 49 s. 2021, which amended sections 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of Ordinance 45-2020 or the Face Mask Ordinance of Baguio City by incorporating the face shield requirement.

The amended ordinance now also regulates the indiscriminate disposal of personal protective equipment in the city.

The measure declares it unlawful for all persons including tourists and outsiders who leave their homes to go to public places, buildings, national roads or highway, sidewalks, walkways, or public conveyances, and other similar establishments, without wearing a face mask and shield until the threat of the Covid-19 is completely eliminated in the country.

However, face masks will not be required for infants and children two years old and below, when eating or drinking in public places, and if wearing impedes physical and sensory functioning of persons with disability (PWDs).

Face shields will not be required for infants and children who are two years old and below, when eating or drinking in public places, for patients who were advised by their physicians against wearing face shields due to a particular medical condition, and if it impedes physical and sensory functioning of PWDs.

Face shields are not also required if one is engaged in activities that require physical exertion such as brisk walking, jogging, running, biking, aerobic exercises, and other forms of physical exercise provided that physical distancing is strictly observed and if wearing it directly causes hazard or impede vision or mobility while in the conduct of work or while driving vehicles.

For public utility vehicles, Memorandum Circular 2020-014 or the mandatory wearing of face shields for passengers using public transportation issued by the Department of Transportation and Joint Memorandum Circular 20-04 by the departments of Trade and Industry Labor and Employment supplemental guidelines on workplace prevention and control of Covid-19 on the “No face shield, no face mask, no ride” policy will apply.

The ordinance also prohibits transacting business with any person not wearing a face mask and shield in the public markets, supermarkets, groceries, malls, shopping centers, and government offices but for employees, workers or personnel within these establishments and offices, they may momentarily remove their face shields where the conduct of their work does not involve face to face or person to person interaction with clients, customers, visitors, or co-employees and provided that social or physical distancing is observed and/or the presence of a plastic barrier in between the transacting parties.

 Joint Circular 20-04 of the DTI and DOLE states that the face shield requirement applies to all private establishments, including banks.

Other prohibited acts are hoarding, profiteering, or manipulating the prices for face masks or face shields being sold to the general public and indiscriminately discarding or disposing used and/or damaged face mask, face shield, gloves, and tissues or any fabric used in cleaning face shields.

Those who fail to wear a face mask will be fine P1,000 on first offense; P2,000 on second offense; and P3,000 and cancellation of business permit if applicable on third offense.

For non-wearing of face shield and indiscriminate disposal of used or damaged face masks and face shields, violators will be fined P500 on first offense; P1,000 on second offense; and P2,000 and cancellation of business permit if applicable on third offense.

If the violator is a minor, the parent or guardian will   pay the fine. – Aileen P. Refuerzo