Davao to lift liquor ban on Sept. 21

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 September) – Mayor Sara Duterte will issue an executive order next week lifting the 24/7 ban on alcoholic beverages effective Sept. 21, more than five months after it was enforced to control the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the city.

During her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Friday, Duterte said residents may buy alcoholic drinks from establishments other than beer houses, clubs and bars, which are still prohibited by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to serve intoxicating drinks to customers.

The City Hall of Davao. MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

“May I remind that still under the negative list of DTI are beer houses, clubs, bars. They cannot serve liquor even though we lift the ban. Their primary business of serving liquors remains under the negative list,” she said.

She said the local government decided to lift the ban to revitalize the economy and provide opportunities for the employees working in the liquor industry.

“Excuse me, my fellow Dabawenyos. We are not going to lift the liquor ban for your own sake. We will lift the liquor ban for the businesses and for the people who are employed in the liquor businesses, not for your own happiness. This is for the  business because if there is business, there is money,” she said.

Last Aug. 28, Duterte said she would discuss the lifting of the ban in October because it’s the “least priority,” considering that most establishments that serve alcoholic beverages, like beer houses, clubs and bars, remain under the DTI’s “negative list”.

The mayor imposed the liquor ban on April 6 to minimize the possibility of transmitting the virus during drinking sessions.

Duterte added the local government would push through with the reopening of the popular Roxas Night Market on September 12, or six months after its closure.

The market was closed on March 12, at the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, displacing 498 food vendors and massage therapists.

The mayor, however, said the site would initially reopen at 25-percent capacity with the vendors taking turns every two weeks.

She said the city would increase the capacity if there would be strict compliance with minimum health requirements such as physical distancing, wearing of masks and handwashing. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)