Liquor ban in city lifted but…

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By Emme Rose Santiagudo

Selling of alcoholic beverages are now allowed in Iloilo City amid the expanded enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) provided that social distancing measures shall be observed during consumption and there will be no drinking of such beverages in public.

The liquor ban was lifted after Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas issued on Tuesday Executive Order No. 66, which amended Section 12 of EO No. 55.

EO No. 055 issued on March 20, 2020 imposed the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on all commercial and business establishments, government offices, and in residential areas. One of its provisions is the ban on the sale of alcoholic drinks and drinking in public.

But the resumption of the sale of alcoholic beverages is subject to some restrictions.

For one, drinking in public is still prohibited. Social distancing measures shall be observed at all times if and when alcoholic beverages are consumed.

The prohibition on mass gathering of persons, such as fiesta, celebrations, and other similar activities, is still in effect.

According to Treñas, the lifting of the liquor ban is part of the city’s direction towards gradual reopening by May 1, 2020.

Indi ta gihapon magtugot sang mass gathering. Kon maginom sila gamay lang sila. Kon magbakal sila ilimnon sa supermarkets indi sila makainom sa public. Dira lang sila sa ila balay. Part na ini sang amat-amat naton nga gradual reopening,” he said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Treñas said he also consulted experts on mental health on the move to allow the sale of alcoholic drinks.

He added that drinking of alcoholic beverage at home and in moderation cannot be considered a violation.

“We are also meeting with our people helping us with mental health. Waay man sang gainom sa publiko, if they will be doing it in the privacy in their homes. What we are really concerned is the mental health of our residents. Nakita ta daw na-amat amat naman control ang aton kaso diri sa siyudad,” he said.

The Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) together with personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) will monitor the implementation of the order, according to Treñas.

The mayor warned that violators will face charges. The liquor ban can also be reinstituted if there are rampant abuses and violations of the restrictions.

May warning kita nga kon ma-abuse ini, mabalik kita sa prohibition sang alcohol. We will be going around and we will file charges to those who will break the order,” he added.