P1-M collected after 4 months of inspection

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014


THE Regulatory and Complaint Board (CRB) has collected more than a million pesos in form of business permits and other dues from entertainment and food establishments operating in Cagayan de Oro since it conducted regular inspection more than four months ago.

Lawyer Beda Joy Elot, RCB chief, said the increase in earnings have been “substantial” and indicative that most of the city’s nightspots obeyed the law after they had been inspected.

“Most (establishments were) given notice of violations [and had obtained] permits, now that they’re aware that RCB is doing its job of inspecting,” Elot told this paper.

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She said most of the establishments had secured permits before but these were not the appropriate classification of the businesses they’re operating.

In some cases, she said in a previous interview, a business owner had applied as retailer but actually operated a bar.

RCB also discovered many of the nightspots do not have the necessary permits.

“It’s really unfair to those who are compliant with their permits. So karon, everybody is complying once they have received the notice from the RCB,” Elot added.

In some instances, RCB has to act on complaints brought to its office, specifically noise coming from karaoke bars which cause disturbance to nearby residents at night.

In dealing with this, Elot said they give these bars the “due process” by referring the complaints to the barangay, and if not resolved at that level, the RCB will decide on it.

The RCB has been relentless in doing the rounds among the city’s nightspots that, Elot said, establishments had taken the initiative of closing their business without waiting for the city’s inspectors to give them the ultimatum.

“When they knew that they could not comply with RCB regulation, they voluntarily closed their establishment,” she added.

RCB did not actually cause these closures but, she said, it has been stipulated in the notice they had been serving during its inspection that that’s the final action the inspectorate would resort to if bar or club operators will not comply with the requirements.

“When we came around the next time, it’s either they’ve closed or have complied,” she said.

However, some of these who halted their operations did not inform RCB beforehand that they would no longer operate, she added.

According to Elot, after conducting an inspection, the RCB will first give a warning and notice of violations to the owners and operators, and they are given 10 to 15 days to comply. After that, a second notice will be served.

If an establishment has been non-compliant in spite of their warning, Elot said the inspection team will refer it to the board to issue a closure order or not.

“Actually, what we are asking from these establishment is not that difficult to comply with,” Elot said.

Rodilyn Palarca, a supervisor at Wat Ever KTV bar at Corrales Avenue, said they have no problem following the city’s ordinance since their karaoke rooms are soundproofed.

Palarca said the only time the RCB red-flagged them was on its failure to display the business plates in the prominent area.

She said the RCB also noted that some of their customers were drinking outside the Wat Ever premises, but Palarca clarified that Wat Ever is located on a business complex that also included a restaurant and a pizzeria, and that all three establishments share the spaces.

She said all their papers are in order and they have not violated any city regulation.

Sahara Nadela, a food crewmember at Backyard Burgers, also located at Corrales Avenue, said they already have all the permits issued by the health office, city government and the barangay.

Elot said the RCB has almost completed visiting all the nightspots in various parts of the city.

“More or less 80 percent covered na,” she said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 27, 2014.

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