Stricter enforcement of liquor ordinance sought

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

The Sangguniang Panlungsod on Tuesday called for stricter implementation of the city’s “Liquor Licensing and Regulatory Ordinance” or the ordinance that regulates the sale of liquor in public spaces and prohibits the drinking of any alcoholic beverages on public streets and places in the city.

Councilor Jay Treñas III proposed a resolution on the matter following the death of his legislative staff, Jeffrey Solano, in the streets of Brgy. Jereos in La Paz district on Monday.

Based on news reports, Solano suffered 26 stab wounds inflicted by Rene Bebedor who was allegedly drunk.

Bebedor already surrendered to authorities.

In his privilege speech, Treñas underscored the need for safety in the city streets.

“One of my legislative staff, Mr. Jeffrey Solano was stabbed and killed on Monday. This happened in the streets of Brgy. Jereos, and I spoke with the investigators, and they kept bringing up the issue of intoxication and public streets and sidewalks. Our streets should be safe, our streets were made for the people,” he lamented.

According to Treñas, the “Liquor Licensing and Regulatory Ordinance” was passed in 2014 but the implementation has not been sustained.

“I passed an ordinance for liquor ordinance licensing in 2014 but it was not properly enacted. The police said that they go around, gapangsaway sila but the problem is, it is not sustainable,” he said.

The ordinance regulates the sale of liquor and alcoholic drinks by issuing licenses to sari-sari stores and similar establishments. The ordinance also prohibits drinking in all public streets and sidewalks

A Liquor Licensing and Regulatory Council composed of representatives from the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO), Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), City Legal Office (CLO), and Liga ng mga Barangay president, among others, was also formed to oversee the implementation of the ordinance.

The council was also tasked to issue liquor sale licenses to sari-sari stores and other establishments.

To sustain the implementation of the ordinance, Treñas said barangay officials, including the tanods (watchmen) should be tapped to ensure peace and order in barangays.

“The people who loiter and use our streets are blanketed by something called fear – fear from people who will persecute them. I hope that after the recent event, the implementation of liquor license and strong coordination with the barangay and police can help prevent or lessen these kinds of events,” he stressed.

Councilor Ely Estante supports Treñas’s move saying that Solano’s death was a wake-up call for barangay officials and barangay tanods.

“The ratio of police men in every district tama ka gamay. All the problems like criminality should not only be the work of police officers but we need also the cooperation of everybody especially barangay officials. We really need the help of barangay officials,” Estante said.

Aside from the resolution, the council will also revisit the provisions of the liquor ordinance.