By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
LIESURE establishments in Iloilo City will comply with the requirements set by Mayor Jerry Treñas before he repeals repeal Executive Order (EO) 146 or the 2 a.m. liquor ban on bars and night clubs.
This was assured by Jim Velez, president of the Iloilo Smallville Business Association.
“It is very doable and amenable. We will comply with the requirements of the mayor,” Velez told Daily Guardian in a phone interview on Friday.
Velez said that they are now in the process of forming a core group of bar owners in the Iloilo City.
“Actually, nag-form na kami core group sang bar owners of the city of Iloilo. Himuon namon nga isa na lang ka association or group ang bar owners kay syempre kailangan isa ka boses lang tanan and para ma disiplina man ang tanan,” he said.
According to Velez, they are finalizing the guidelines which will be presented to the mayor on July 11, 2019.
The guidelines are relative to the requirements initially requested by Treñas such as ensuring that all bars have security guards, bouncers, and installed functioning CCTVs.
“Our guidelines include all bars should have CCTVs that are working and functioning as well as security guards and bouncers. Actually, wala problema sa mga big time bar operators because they are actually required to have these pero syempre indi gid man abi tanan may bouncers and security guards,” Velez lamented.
Velez said they will also blacklist all troublemakers from other bars and other similar establishments.
“We want to blacklist all troublemakers na mga customers na once bala may trouble ka sa isa ka area, indi ka na kasulod sa mga iban area,” he said.
Aside from this, he added that they will also implement the ‘strictly no liquor on minors’ policy as well as the strict implementation of frisking on bars and night clubs.
“We will require all bar owners to never ever serve sa minors, strictly no liquors on minors kay sila gid mismo nga gusto maumpisa sang trouble and also frisking. We will strictly conduct frisking sa mga customers entering the bars,” he said.
He added that they will have to minimize the noise pollution of the bars in the metro.
Once the core group is officially formed, Velez said that the bar owners must abide with the said guidelines or else they will face disciplinary measures.
“They should abide by these guidelines and kung may association na there will be disciplinary measures na gagawin. Hindi kasi pwede na sige lang ng sige. We have to discipline these bar owners also even ang mga small scale and isolated bars,” he said.
Treñas has recently signified his plan to repeal the ordinance once the bar operators commit that they can ensure the safety and security of their customers.
“Gusto ko may commitment man sila. The ball is now with them, mahulat lang ko. I will repeal it kung kaistorya ko sa bar operators and they can give me their assurances,” he said.
Velez emphasized the need to repeal the EO to draw more tourists in the city locally and internationally.
“Night life is a tourist contributor not only to local but also foreign tourists that is why indi naton pwede dulaon sa Iloilo City because it is also one of our attractions,” he said.
Since the EO was issued, Velez said that the bar industry in the metro has suffered from economic losses.
“With the EO kasi, lugi gid ya ang industry. During conventions, 11 p.m. or 12 midnight pa na matapos and how can they have night life if sirado na ta by 2 a.m. that is why some of them would refuse to go back to Iloilo,” he lamented.
He stressed that just like the mayor, their number one priority is really the safety and security of their consumers.
“The main concern of every bar is the safety and security sang customer. Kasi halimbawa mangin safe ka, it will also translate back to more consumers who will also keep on coming back to you,” he said.
EO No. 146, series of 2017 directed the mandatory closure at 2 a.m. of all bars, night clubs, disco bars, resto bars and other similar establishments.
Former mayor Jose Espinosa III issued EO No. 146 last December 14, 2017 to lessen the number of incidents and crimes in the city.