24/7 liquor ban in Davao City stays despite shift from ECQ to GCQ

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 May) — The City Government of Davao will not lift the 24-7 ban on liquor even as it has shifted to a 15-day general community quarantine effective 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16 until 11:59 p.m. of May 30, 2020 after six weeks of enhanced community quarantine.

Released on Friday, the six-page Executive Order 33 Series of 2020 provides, among others,  that no liquor, alcohol or any other intoxicating drink would be sold, served or consumed in public until after the quarantine is lifted.

Mayor Sara Duterte first imposed the 24/7 liquor ban on April 6, two days after the entire city was placed under ECQ to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Traffic is back along Matina near the GSIS buidling on Day 1 of the General Community Quarantine on 16 May 2020. Davao City was placed on community quarantine on March 15, enhanced community quarantine on April 4 and general community quarantine from 12:01 a.m. on May 16 to 11:59 p.m. on May 31. MindaNews photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS

There is an existing Ordinance No. 004-131 Series of 2013, otherwise known as the Liquor Ban Ordinance, which amended Ordinance No. 1627 of 1994, which bans drinking in public here from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m.

The mayor reminded Dabawenyos to remain inside their homes even as the city has lowered the quarantine status to GCQ from the more restrictive ECQ after six weeks, following the review of the COVID-19 Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The city, classified under IATF Resolution 35 as “moderate-risk,”  prohibits any “gathering of more than 10 individuals is considered a mass gathering” while the government aid distribution must strictly follow physical distancing.

As of 5 p.m. on May 15,  the city has recorded 177 cases out of the regional total of 197.

Mayor Duterte last month  declared April 17 to December 31, 2020 as a period of mourning and vigilance, prohibiting extravagant celebrations here amid the global deaths due to the highly infectious COVID-19.

Based on EO 25, Duterte emphasized the need to show sympathy for the families of frontliners who have succumbed to the battle against COVID-19 and empathy for those who are suffering and will continue to suffer the after effects of pandemic.

Duterte added the issuance of such declaration is necessary as there is a need for constant obedience of the rules and measures set to contain the spread of the deadly virus, and that vigilance is an essential step to protect families and communities.

EO 25 provides that city and national government celebrations, parties, anniversaries, and festivities shall be cancelled; commemoration of important dates and legal holidays should be kept short and must be in somber tone; all barangays shall refrain from extravagant celebration of their fiesta while all founding anniversaries/ araw ng barangay celebrations will be cancelled.

It added private parties to mark personal or family milestones should be kept low key and modest, meaning a celebration in a public place with no more than 25 guests, while those who want to pursue big celebrations can do so next year.

The private sector is likewise advised to adhere to the requirements, recommending a food distribution, feeding program or financial assistance to their employees in place of grandiose celebrations to mark their important events, it said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)