MANILA - More than 1,500 people were arrested for not observing physical distancing last week, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday.
Año said in a taped briefing that a total of 1,566 individuals were nabbed across the country for the violation from June 21 to June 27.
Nearly 40 were also caught for conducting events involving mass gatherings, while 837 were arrested for not wearing face masks, he added.
The government requires Filipinos to wear anti-virus masks and full-face shields in all public areas.
Last April, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra urged the task force leading the country's pandemic response not to arrest or detain violators and impose community service instead.
But the following month, President Rodrigo Duterte instructed police to arrest people violating protocols to contain COVID-19, contradicting the justice department's advice.
Duterte, however, has acknowledged he sometimes takes his face mask off.