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No fines, apprehension for violators of face mask policy inside vehicles — LTO chief

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) on Tuesday clarified that it will not apprehend or impose fines against violators of its policy that passengers inside a vehicle, whether or not they are in the same household, must wear face masks.

At a virtual press briefing, LTO chief Transportation Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said said the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19  (IATF) and Department of Health (DOH) are currently reviewing the policy since it does not differentiate those who are living in the same residence and those who are not.

“Anuman ang adjustment na gagawin tungkol sa kanilang issuance ay tutugon o tutupad ang LTO dito,” Galvante said.

“Pero pansamantala po kung kayo ay masisita hindi naman pagmumultahin agad o whatever. Ipaliliwanag lang ang kahalagahan ng pag-observe ng protocol,” he added.

In a radio interview on Monday, LTO Director Clarence Guinto said persons inside private or public vehicles must wear face masks to protect themselves against COVID-19.

Guinto said private vehicle violators will be slapped with P2,000 fine while public vehicle violators will face a heftier fine of P5,000.

However, Galvante said that while policy-makers are reviewing the policy, it will instead focus on reminding the public on the importance of observing health protocols amid the pandemic.

“Para mawala ang pangamba, ang gusto natin dito ay ma-check natin ang maaaring pag-spread ng virus pero I understand ito ay ire-review, nire-review ng IATF, DOH,” the LTO chief said. — RSJ, GMA News