Davao to impose 24/7 liquor ban anew

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 October) – A 24/7 liquor ban will again be imposed in the city, from 5 a.m. of Nov. 2 until Dec. 31 this year, to prevent exposing more people to COVID-19 “by reason of their unbridled drinking sessions,” Mayor Sara Duterte said.

In Executive Order No. 59 issued on Thursday, Duterte prohibited the selling, serving, or consumption of liquor and any other alcoholic or intoxicating drinks in public, and warned the closure of establishments that will be caught violating the ban.

The CIty Hall of Davao in the time of COVID-19. MIndaNews photo by GREGORIO C. BUENO

The mayor directed the Vices Regulation Unit and barangay councils to monitor the compliance of all restaurants, fastfood, sari-sari stores and similar businesses, and to move for the closure of an establishment after a single violation is properly documented.

Last Sept. 21, the 24/7 ban on the sale of alcoholic drinks, which was first implemented last April 6 when the city was then under a restrictive enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), was lifted to “gradually allow business establishments to resume operations including businesses in the liquor industry.”

But Duterte re-imposed last Oct. 15 the liquor ban, along with the 7 p.m. to 5a.m. curfew, to control the spread of the virus.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the city surged following the “innumerable activities allowed during a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ),” the order said.

The entire city was placed under ECQ from April 4 to May 15, GCQ from May 16 until June 30, and MGCQ beginning last July 1.

“There is a need to control the COVID-19 cases in Davao City because of the full occupancy of the COVID-19 beds in the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMFs),” the order added.

As of Oct. 28, Department of Health-Davao Region reported a total of 4,976 COVID-19 cases with 1,108 active ones, 3,687 recoveries and 181 deaths.

Of this total, 3,369 cases were reported in Davao City, 288 in Davao de Oro, 533 in Davao del Norte, 363 in Davao del Sur, 97 in Davao Occidental and 326 in Davao Oriental. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)