The Vice Regulation Unit (VRU) will conduct strict inspection and monitoring on all establishments in the city following the stricter liquor ban order amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In a text message to TIMES, VRU head Ashley Lopez has vowed to fully implement the updated liquor ban in the city.
On Wednesday, Mayor Sara Duterte signed Executive Order No. 14 that temporarily imposes stiffer prohibition in selling or serving of liquors, alcoholic beverages, coconut wine, and other nature wines and the like that cause intoxication.
The EO, which implemented starting yesterday, prohibits selling or serving of intoxicating liquors from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.
“As the enforcement agency, we have been instructed to carry out EO 14,” Lopez said, adding that they are always supported by the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).
The EO has suppressed City Ordinance No. 004-13, which prohibits the selling or serving of intoxicating liquors from 1 a.m to 8 a.m. Local authorities have been strictly imposing the ordinance for years.
“Amending Davao City Ordinance No. 004-13 could take some time and considering the present emergency situation, there is an urgent need to immediately address this concern and impose necessary measures to protect the Dabawenyos from COVID-19 particularly in temporarily adjusting the time of liquor ban until an amendatory ordinance is duly passed or Presidential Proclamation 922 is lifted,” the EO said.
The newly signed executive order pointed out that selling, serving, and consumption of liquors and other similar intoxicating drinks encourage close contact among people thereby defeating the objectives of community quarantine.
Mayor Duterte, under Executive Order No. 10, Series of 2020, has declared Davao City under a community quarantine, which also mandates that people should stay in their homes and may only come out to work, buy food or medicines, go to the hospital, or take out garbage. The EO also prohibits mass gatherings.
The VRU head stressed that everyone should follow the guidelines as the city is placed under community quarantine.
“There is an imminent danger that can happen brought about by this COVID-19,” said Lopez, a medical doctor. “[This] is why we encourage everyone to abide by whatever laws will be imposed. It’s for everyone’s safety.”
Impact on business sector
Asked on what are the possible effects of the adjusted limited time of liquor ban to the restaurants and other establishments, Lopez said the sector has already been affected by the COVID-19 even prior to the adjustment of the schedule of the ban.
“Even without this (updated) liquor ban, the business sector has already been affected. I have been checking since yesterday, most (establishments) are compliant,” he said, pointing out that majority of the stores are already closing down temporarily.
“Everyone is advised to stay at home. If (you) really cannot avoid it, you might think as well take your drink within your respective homes. Safe pa,” he added. (With Samantha T. Burgos)