DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 October) – As residents flocked to supermarkets to stock up on alcoholic drinks on Friday, a day after Mayor Sara Duterte announced she would restore the 24/7 liquor ban from Nov. 2 to Dec. 31 this year, the official told them to drink water and fresh juice instead during the holidays.
The ban aims to prevent exposing more people to COVID-19 “by reason of their unbridled drinking sessions.”
In her interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte said excessive drinking of alcohol affects the liver.
“What will you do on Christmas eve or New Year’s eve without alcohol? No alcohol. Drink water or cold-pressed fresh juice,” she said.
“Are you not ashamed? What happened to you? It’s only here in Davao where you can find that the imposition of a liquor ban will make the people panic,” she said.
“There is no need to panic with regard to buying alcohol because we give you four days to purchase, and we also give businesses four days to unload their inventory. That one supermarket which is making rounds on social media, we already told them to implement social distancing in their area,” she said.
She told establishments to ensure compliance with the minimum health protocols by buyers.
She said her order to reimpose the liquor ban has received no negative feedback from manufacturers and supermarket owners.
“We gave them a heads up and duly apologized to them because of what we have to do. Last night, one big establishment here in Davao City sent me a private message and told me that their stocks had been sold,” she said.
Last Sept. 21, the 24/7 liquor ban, which was first implemented last April 6 when the city was then under a restrictive enhanced community quarantine, was lifted to “gradually allow business establishments to resume operations including businesses in the liquor industry.”
She added non-alcohol drinkers also praised the reimposition of the ban since they would no longer have to pester their family members about drinking liquors.
“Non-alcohol drinkers are also happy. In every home, there is one or two who drink and there is always one or two who don’t. Those who do not drink are happy because they will no longer have to keep reminding their household members and family members about drinking alcohol,” she 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 establishments of closure if they will be caught violating the ban.
As of October 29, Department of Health-Davao Region reported a total of 5,075 COVID-19 cases with 1,133 active ones, 3,755 recoveries and 187 deaths.
Of this total, 3,445 cases were reported in Davao City, 291 in Davao de Oro, 541 in Davao del Norte, 368 in Davao del Sur, 98 in Davao Occidental and 332 in Davao Oriental. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)