Fines, jail time for Cebu City quarantine violators starting August 16

Violators of quarantine protocols in Cebu City will be slapped with stiff fines and possible jail time starting Sunday, August 16.

Cebu City’s Ordinance No. 2566 punishes quarantine violators with penalties of P1,500 or a possible 30 days in detention on the first offense. For the second offense, violators would be assessed a P3,000 fine and up to 30 days in jail. A 3rd offense could land violators a P5,000 fine and 30 days in jail.

A judge would determine the punishment.

Violations prior to August 16 will not count towards the 3 strikes provided by the new ordinance.

Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, the main proponent of the ordinance, said that he would introduce an amendment to lower the fine to P500 for the first offense at the request of Mayor Edgar Labella, who thought the penalty was too severe.

The city government also said most violators learned their lesson and did not repeat their offenses.

In the ordinance, restrictions included prohibitions on mass gatherings, loitering, non-wearing of masks, and public consumption of alcohol, among others.

Cebu City will stay under general community quarantine (GCQ) for the remainder of August as its daily tally of coronavirus cases has gone down to double digits. This is a vast improvement from the triple-digits of recorded infections from June to July.

Still, the Cebu City caseload was the highest outside Metro Manila.

As of Saturday, August 15, Cebu City has 9,342 total cases, while 7,080 have recovered already, leaving the number of active cases at 1,647.

The number of cases nationwide was now at 157,918. –

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.