DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 21 September) – Mayor Sara Duterte lifted Monday the 24/7 ban on the sale of alcoholic drinks nearly six months after it was implemented to prevent the spread of the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the city.
She also allowed liquors to be served in restaurants and fastfood businesses “to two individual servings per customer.”
Duterte imposed the liquor ban on April 6 to prevent the exposure of individuals to the highly contagious disease through drinking sessions.
In Executive Order 50 issued on September 21, Duterte said the local government decided to lift the ban on the selling of liquors to gradually allow business establishments to resume operations, including businesses in the liquor industry.
However, the local chief executive stressed that the selling, serving or consuming of liquors in public is still prohibited from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m., citing Ordinance No. 004-12 Series of 2013, or an Ordinance Amending No. 1627 Series of 2014, which regulates the “operation of business establishments selling liquors, coconut wine and other nature wine, and other alcoholic beverages” in the city.
Section 3 of EO 50 provides that beer houses and similar establishments whose primary business is serving of alcoholic drinks, including nightclubs, bars and beer garden, will not be allowed to operate under any form of community quarantine, pursuant to Section 4 of the Department of Trade and Industry Memorandum Circular No. 20-44.
The entire city was placed under the enhanced community quarantine from April 4 to May 15, general community quarantine (GCQ) from May 16 until June 30, and modified GCQ last July 1 until the end of September.
As of September 20, the Department of Health-Davao reported 2,666 COVID-19 cases with 2,182 recoveries and 76 deaths.
Of the total, 1,683 were recorded in Davao City, 207 in Davao de Oro, 316 in Davao del Norte, 161 in Davao del Sur, 51 in Davao Occidental and 248 in Davao Oriental.
Earlier, Duterte said the local government decided to lift the 24/7 liquor ban to revitalize the economy and provide opportunities for the employees working in this 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 (sake of) business and for the people who are employed in the liquor business, not for your own happiness. This is for the business because if there is business, there is money,” she said.