LAPU-LAPU City Mayor Junard Q. Chan has asked the local council to pass a law that will allow “citizen’s arrest” against those not wearing a face mask in public after the city recorded 86 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Mr. Chan said his proposal does not necessarily involve actual arrests to be undertaken by private individuals, but reporting violators to the police or the local government hotline.

Informants must provide a video or photo as proof of the violation.

Half of the monetary fine set for mask violators will be given to the informant. The rates, based on a local ordinance, are currently set at P1,000 for the 1st offense and P2,000 for succeeding violations.

Other local governments have stiffer fines ranging from P5,000 to as much as P50,000.

“There are wars better fought together,” Mr. Chan said as he urged the public to follow the face mask policy to help contain local transmissions.

The mayor noted that among the 86 new cases, 12 are police officers who have been on the frontline to ensure health safety protocols are implemented, including wearing of face mask.

“For our estimated 500,000 population in the city, we only have 450 police officers, which means each cop needs to monitor 1,100 people,” he wrote in Visayan.

Lapu-Lapu, a highly urbanized city located in Mactan island in Cebu, had 775 coronavirus disease 2019 cases as of July 2.

Of the total confirmed cases, 635 are active, 115 have recovered including the mayor, and 25 died.

Cebu City in mainland Cebu is considered the new COVID-19 epicenter in the country after an outbreak in recent weeks increased cases to over 6,000, the highest among all major cities, including those in Metro Manila.

Cebu City, which serves as the provincial and regional center, has been placed under strict lockdown with additional cops and special force troopers deployed to help implement quarantine protocols. — Marifi S. Jara