DAVAO CITY -- Residents caught roaming around the streets with no valid reason in Santo Tomas town in Davao del Norte face an unusual punishment, which began Sunday.
Although the town remains virus-free, the whole Davao region adopts the 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew hours to avoid mass gathering as well as further spread of COVID-19.
Men of legal age on Sunday night were seen on photos uploaded on the Facebook page of Santo Tomas town, seemingly offering prayers to empty caskets as punishments.
The local government set up a dummy funeral inside their covered court, aiming to sow fear to residents so they will stay at home during late nights.
"It is a stark reminder of death. If the public keeps on violating our protocols on COVID-19, death is imminent for all of us," Municipal Information Officer Mart Sambalud said.
He added that the apprehended curfew violators were caught during a drinking spree despite the liquor ban.
Aside from the grim punishment, violators will also face criminal charges, according to the local government.