Valencia City lifts liquor ban; Ozamiz allows holding of masses

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 17 March) —  The local government of Valencia City in Bukidnon lifted its liquor ban this week but warned drinkers that they should follow strict quarantine measures before they can buy alcoholic drinks and intoxicating liquor.

Valencia City Mayor Azucena Huervas in her Executive Order No. 40  said that effective May 16, supermarkets, groceries, sari-sari stores, fast foods stores and restaurants will now be allowed to sell, purchase and distribute alcoholic drinks for the duration of the General Community Quarantine in the city “for take out only” and until 6 p.m. only.

Huervas said drinking liquor and intoxicating beverages is allowed only at home and is strictly prohibited in public places.

The Mayor said even in homes, physical distancing should be observed. She designated the local police to strictly enforce the new directive.

In Ozamiz City, Mayor Sancho Fernando Oaminal said he will be allowing the holding of Masses and other religious activities this week.

Oaminal said he will be easing the restrictions on religious activities as long as health protocols are followed.

The decision of Oaminal was well received by Archbishop Martin Jumoad who profusely thanked the mayor.

Jumoad urged priests and his parishioners to strictly observe social distancing, wearing of masks, and sanitizing of hands during masses and other religious activities.

The Archbishop also promised foot baths would be provided at church entrances in Ozamiz City.

Jumoad  urged other town mayors and the cities of Oroquieta and Tangub to follow the example of Mayor Oaminal and allow the holding of Masses and other religious activities.  Under Secton 4 of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), “religious gatherings are not encouraged but in any case should be not more than ten persons” and should adhere to the prescribed minimum health standards such as wearing of face masks and social distancing.  (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)