‘PROHIBITION ERA (AGAIN)’: City renews alcohol sale, drinking bans after 12 am

The Task Force on Morals and Values Formation (TFMVF), Iloilo City police, bar owners, and barangay officials meet at the office of Mayor Jerry Treñas to discuss solutions to the uptick in booze-fueled fights in entertainment spots in Mandurriao district. (Mayor Jerry Treñas FB photo)

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

The Iloilo City government will again regulate the sale and public consumption of alcohol at 12:00 A.M., in response to violent spats in an entertainment area in Mandurriao district.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas issued Executive Order No. 092 on Thursday, July 27, imposing limitations on the sale and consumption of liquor and other alcoholic beverages in the city.

Under the new order, members of the Iloilo Bar Operators Association (IBOA) and other establishments that are primarily engaged in preparing and serving alcoholic beverages would be permitted to sell and allow the public consumption of any form of liquor or alcoholic beverages from 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM.

These establishments must also comply with security trainings under their December 15, 2022 undertaking and operate with security complement, personnel, and bouncers who have secured the certificate of completion for these trainings.

The sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks will still be regulated under existing ordinances, including the ban on minors.

The Task Force on Morals and Values Formation (TFMVF), compliance officers, and other personnel authorized and deployed by the city government are expected to regularly conduct random inspections to ensure proper compliance.

Prior to the issuance, TFMVF chief Nestor Canong confirmed to the media booze-fueled violent incidents in Mandurriao after a meeting led by Treñas on Thursday.

Present in the meeting were bar owners from Mandurriao, barangay captains, Iloilo City Police Office director Colonel Joresty Coronica, and Police Station 5 chief Major Van Cambel.

Canong cited Cambel’s briefing indicating that since May 2023, they have seen an uptick in violent fights in the district, where bouncers or security personnel may also have been involved.

City Regulation Ordinance No. 2023-048, which took effect on June 27, outlines the qualifications and rules of engagement for bouncers, which includes maximum tolerance “during fracas or disturbances within the premises of a bar or nightclub”.

“Starting last year, from October to December, when we opened our bars to serve alcohol until 4:00 a.m., […] between January [to] April, their compliance has been good, we were happy with their commitments,” Canong said.

“But lately, the mayor had been alarmed by reports coming to his office, especially blotter records showing that [fights] had been gradually rising, and bouncers had been mostly involved too,” he added.

Canong said that it was up to bar and restaurant owners to comply with the commitments to avoid spats within and even outside their premises.

He added that they will call again for a meeting, this time with specific owners where many violent incidents have been recorded, to reiterate this new policy and to call for their compliance and up their safety and security protocols.

Public sale and consumption of alcohol was last regulated in August of last year, only until 2:00 A.M., due to “improper conduct and harmful behavior of consumers”. This restriction was eased in December, moving the limit on the sale up to 4:00 A.M., citing improvements.

Prior to these restrictions, prohibitions on the sale and consumption of alcohol had been repeatedly implemented and loosened during the COVID-19 pandemic.