The face mask and shield ordinance of Baguio
The city council has approved Ordinance 27, s. 2021 or the “Baguio Face Mask and Face Shield Ordinance of 2021 in the City of Baguio.”
The measure amends Ordinance 45, s. 2020 or the city’s “Face Mask Ordinance of 2020” purposely to include face shield as additional mandatory personal protective equipment to be worn at all times outside residences or while going to or when in public buildings/places until the threat of the Covid-19 is completely eliminated or during the pandemic.
It also regulates the indiscriminate disposal of PPE.
Under the ordinance, the wearing of face mask and shield is not required for children below two years old; persons with disability and by reason of their disability would make the wearing of face mask and/or face shield hazardous or impede their physical and sensory functioning; patients as advised by their physicians especially those having trouble in breathing; and persons while engaging in some intensity activities like brisk walking, jogging, running, zumba, and other forms of physical exercises.
Face mask and shield could be temporarily set aside or removed in some reasonable and justified instances, when eating and/or drinking in public places; walking or standing all alone; with someone/very intimate close contact in an open environment; or in a room with a proper ventilation.
Exempted from wearing face shields are the public utility and private vehicle drivers while driving, including cyclists while riding their bicycles.
Penalties for persons/entities violating the mandatory wearing of face mask under Ordinance 45, s. 2020 are P1,000 on first offense; P2,000 on second offense; and P3,000 and cancellation of business permit if applicable on third offense.
Those who do not wear shield and indiscriminately dispose used or damaged face masks and shields 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 accompanying them shall be assessed the corresponding fine and/or penalty in accordance with laws, rules, and regulations.
Also approved is Ordinance 28, s. 2021, which requires all business establishments operating in Baguio to designate their respective health and safety protocol officers or personnel until the threat of the Covid-19 has been completely eliminated or during the declared state of public health emergency.
As stated in the ordinance, a business establishment refers to establishments employing at least 10 workers/employees like mini-groceries/stores, eateries, restaurants, and the like.
Health and safety protocol officer will come from the pool of existing workers/employees, who will oversee the implementation of hygiene and sanitation programs; implementation of minimum health standards such as imposing physical distancing, mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields, continuous disinfection of high traffic and high contact areas; and implementation of other advisories prescribed by appropriate/health authorities.
All designated protocol officers/personnel are required to undergo orientation or seminar on health and safety protocols and guidelines on prevention and control of the Covid-19 at the CHSO, which shall issue a certification as a proof of completion.
Business establishments found or caught violating the ordinance shall be penalized P1,000 on first offense; P2,000 on second offense; and P3,000 and cancellation of business permit on third offense.
The ordinances were submitted to Mayor Benjamin Magalong for signing and to take effect in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Code.
In Resolution 94, s. 2021, the city council has urged the CHSO to give immunity-boosting vitamins and medicines to persons with existing health problems and comorbidities especially the indigents, unemployed, and senior citizens who cannot support their medication.
The medicines shall include medication for hypertension and diabetes and to be distributed through the various barangay health workers who shall also come up with a masterlist of intended beneficiaries.
The CHSO is also requested to use its allowed available fund from the city’s generalfund for the purchase and distribution of the vitamins and medicines.