‘HAPPY HOURS ARE HERE AGAIN’: City Hall loosens alcohol restrictions

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

Almost a week after selling and public drinking of liquor in Iloilo City was placed in a limited timeslot, Mayor Jerry Treñas issued a new edict reverting to the usual “happy hours” for many establishments, but with a few caveats.

Executive Order No. 92-A issued on Wednesday, August 2, reinstated the sale and public consumption of alcoholic drinks from 8:00 AM to 4:00 AM with certain conditions.

This re-expanded timeslot is available only to members of the Iloilo Bar Owners Association (IBOA) and other establishments that are primarily engaged in selling and serving alcohol that signed the July 30 affidavit of undertaking.

The affidavit, signed by 36 members of the IBOA, outlines security and safety strategies to be pursued by the group, which include requiring training and refresher courses for the bouncers, train bar staff in ‘responsible alcohol service’, installing and maintaining security cameras, and allowing police officers to enter subject to coordination with duty managers, among others.

Establishments that are allowed to serve alcohol until 4:00 AM are also expected to operate with well-trained security complement, as evidenced by a certificate of completion.

Establishments that are not IBOA members or did not sign the affidavit of undertaking are still limited to sell, serve, and host drinking sessions until 12:00 AM.

But if the establishment has a pending Notice to Explain or is currently under any disciplinary action (except for those with suspended or revoked permits) they are not allowed to sell or allow public consumption in their premises until their alleged violation has been justified or their sanctions have already been lifted.

The Task Force on Morals and Values Formation and the Iloilo City Police Office, as well as other compliance officers and other authorized personnel deployed by the city government will still be conducting regular random inspections to ensure compliance with the said order.

This new Executive Order comes just 6 days after Treñas issued Executive Order No. 92 on July 27, which limits the sale and public consumption of alcohol to 12:00 AM, following reports of violent spats in a night entertainment area in Mandurriao district.

Prior to this, the mayor had also issued similar regulations placing the limits up to 2:00 AM in August last year after a shooting incident, also in Mandurriao, and several iterations of regulation or prohibition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.