LAOAG CITY — The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Ilocos Norte passed yesterday, April 20, an ordinance penalizing residents who violate lockdown protocols.
Vice Governor Cecilia Araneta-Marcos explained in an interview that Provincial Ordinance (PO) No. 22-2020 titled “An ordinance imposing penalties for violation of Executive Orders, Issuance and Directives issued in reaction to Proclamation No. 922 Declaring the Philippines under State of Public Health Emergency by reason of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Province of Ilocos Norte and for other purposes,” sets a premium on obedience to Executive Orders (EO) and laws Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc had implemented.
Imposing a penalty amounting to P 5000.00, Vice Gov. Araneta-Marcos stressed:
“As much as possible we [the SP] do not want to penalize anyone. We just want the public to understand that the most important this time is to obey [enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) measures].
At this point, no one really knows what this worldwide pandemic is about so we are doing our best for our province,” she added.
PO No. 22-2020 underscores the prohibition on the spread of fake news (EO 60-20 Sec. 9); unnecessary roaming (EO 62-20 Sec. 2A); enforcing of social distancing maximum capacity in business establishments (EO 63-20 Sec. 7); ban on sale, serving, and consumption of intoxicating drinks (EO 64-20 Sec. 1); and other nationwide protocols such as mandatory wearing of face mask in public places, anti-discrimination against COVID-19 frontliners, and on conduct of funerals, among others.
While the new PO shall only take effect after fifteen (15) days following the completion of its publication, Vice Gov. Araneta-Marcos reiterates that the remaining days will be for “warning stage.”
“Our concern is the populace—the constituents of our province. We want everyone safe as possible,” she expressed.
The PO will continue to take effect even when Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte lifts ECQ directive after April 30 as Ilocos Norte plans to “gradually” ease its own issuances.