A netizen’s social media post showing a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic enforcer ‘enforcing without a face mask’ earned the ire not only of the public, but the his own agency as well.
The social media post itself showed a photo of Traffic Aide 2 Lucas Alcaraz Jr., who was clearly on duty, but not wearing the required face mask.
Alcaraz was assigned at checkpoint along Alabang-Zapote Road, Almanza Uno, Las Piñas City.
Following the report, MMDA Chair Danilo Lim immediately ordered the agency's Traffic Discipline Office to launch an investigation into the incident.
Alcaraz was later issued a citation ticket for violating Las Piñas City Ordinance No. 1689-20 (series of 2020) which orders the mandatory wearing of face masks at public places. He shall also have to pay the corresponding fine for the violation.
But that’s not the only issue that Alcaraz will have to face, as the MMDA also placed him under preventive suspension for not wearing face mask or any protective gear while on duty manning the Alabang Zapote Road checkpoint.
"This act and/or omission of Alcaraz is a violation of the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease that it is now mandatory for individuals leaving their residences to purchase basic goods or attend to emergencies to wear any type of face mask while the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is in effect due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis,” Lim said in a memorandum.
The latest disciplinary came after several MMDA employees were previously sacked by the agency after reportedly violating the guidelines under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) threat.
Likewise, last April 29, three traffic personnel were suspended for 30 days for violating the “no backride” policy amid the ECQ based on a number of complaints posted on Facebook.
“We are very serious in our battle against COVID-19. We cannot afford to waste the agency’s efforts because of some employees who are blatantly disregarding the ECQ guidelines. We do not condone recklessness and grave misconduct of our personnel that’s why we ordered sanctions against them,” the MMDA Chief said about the earlier violations.
Photo from Philippine Information Agency
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