LTO: Only solo drivers exempt from wearing protective face coverings in private cars

The law applies even to those from the same household
PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

Except when driving alone, all occupants of private and public vehicles must wear face masks and face shields to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Land Transportation Office said on Monday, February 1.

The requirement is “harsh” but the law must be implemented, said LTO director Clarence Guinto in a DZMM Teleradyo interview, adding that even those who live in the same household should wear face covering: “The law does not distinguish na magkasama sa bahay o hindi.”

When it was pointed out that a face shield could compromise the visibility of the driver, the official conceded that the policy and its corresponding fines were set last year before the use of face shields became mandatory. In December 2020, local governments like Pasig City already exempted cyclists from wearing face shields on the road.

Vehicle occupants who are caught without face masks and face shields will be meted the equivalent penalties for reckless driving. “We also encourage the public, kung may situation na you feel aggrieved, na mali ang enforcement, you can always contest the citation within five days,” Guinto said.

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Penalties for vehicle occupants not wearing face coverings

  1. First offense: P2,000 (private vehicles) or P5,000 (public transportation)
  2. Second offense: P3,000 (private vehicles) or P10,000 (public transportation)
  3. Third offense: P5,000 (private vehicles) or P15,000 (public transportation), plus one-year suspension of driver’s license
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The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases set a national policy for the wearing of face masks and face shields at all times in public places. This is implemented through city and municipal ordinances that could vary slightly, so it’s best to check with local authorities.

NOTE: This article first appeared on . Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan
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