The Quezon City government had begun distributing 1.2 million face masks and 300,000 face shields to indigent residents, following a joint operation by the city’s police force caught some 3,200 citizens who violated health protocols.
Among their beneficiaries were vendors, Tricycle Operators and Drivers’ Association members and senior citizens.
Those netted were fined anywhere from P300 to P1,000 depending on the violation they committed. Those with Covid-like symptoms—fever, cough, colds or difficulty breathing—were subjected to swab testing.
The “one-time, big-time” operation, the police said, aimed to reduce the number of violators in the city.
OTBTs, as they are called, typically result in thousands of violators apprehended. In March, the police caught 1,700 violators; 7,600 were let off with a warning while nearly 8,000 were fined.
Earlier last week, Sen. Panfilo Lacson remarked that Filipinos should be given the chance to follow rules before they are arrested, especially those who have to prioritize buying food supplies for their families instead of face masks and face shields.