DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 February) – Mayor Sara Duterte announced on Monday that the City Government of Davao is lifting the prohibition on the serving of alcoholic beverages in establishments and restoring the conduct of face-to-face activities by government offices in the city.
In a live interview streamed over her Facebook page on Monday, Duterte said the basis for further easing, effective today, the community restrictions is the significant decrease in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases after the surge of Omicron, the fastest-spreading variant of the SARS-COV2.
“We cannot wait for the time when we can say we’re COVID-19 free or that there is eradication of COVID because we still do not know if COVID will ever go away, so it’s difficult if we will wait for that time to come. What we shall do is we continue on with minimum public health standards and slowly restore all the activities that we have restricted before,” she said.
She said establishments, hotels and restaurants are now allowed to serve liquors to the public but consumption of alcoholic beverages is still prohibited in parks and along the roads, streets, alleys, pathways and other similar areas.
Duterte said the city government decided to lift the liquor ban in bars and other establishments since the local government has sufficient supply of vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 patients and that more people have been vaccinated against the virus.
On October 25, 2021, Duterte lifted the 24/7 liquor ban. She eased the liquor ban to 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. daily under Ordinance No. 004-30 series of 2013, which amended Ordinance No. 1627, but retained the prohibition of serving liquor in establishments.
However, with her new order, bars, restaurants and other establishments selling alcoholic beverages can now serve their customers outside the liquor ban hours.
“You have to be responsible enough. If you are high risk and unvaccinated, there is a bigger chance that you will become a severe or critical case of COVID-19. Get yourselves vaccinated before you join people in bars, videokes and other establishments,” she said.
According to the Department of Health -Davao, the city reported 57 new cases on Sunday, bringing its total cases to 71,504 with 1,213 active, 68,401 recoveries and 1,890 deaths.
The mayor said that the city wants to gradually restore more activities in an attempt to transition to the “new normal” brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duterte also announced that Executive Order 69, which bans non-essential face-to-face events, has been lifted. This will allow barangays and local and national government offices, including government-owned and controlled corporations, to organize face-to-face activities.
She reminded the public to continue wearing face masks, maintain physical distancing and wash their hands frequently to protect themselves from getting the virus.
Duterte said the local government seeks to revitalize the tourism sector to fast-track the recovery of the local economy, including the conduct of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibits.
“What we’re looking at is to restore economic activities, including the opening up of tourism activities. We encourage our business establishments to open up and for tourists to visit Davao City,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)