THE City Council during their regular session last Monday has approved a resolution adopting an experimental scheme for 6 months to extend the number of hours of operation of liquor establishments in the City of Baguio. Numerous amendments were already made in the city’s “Liquor Ordinance” the last of which was Ordinance 88, series of 2009 wherein operations of liquor establishments with dancing are allowed from 5PM to 2AM.
These establishments include night clubs and day clubs, cocktail lounges, beer gardens, duly-accredited tourist-oriented hotels with restaurant, bar or disco, cabaret or dance halls and disco pubs. Establishments on the other hand without dancing like ordinary beer gardens, folk houses or folk den serving beers only, restaurants serving liquors, bar or coffee shops serving liquors and internet cafes are allowed to operate from 3PM to 12 midnight.
The resolution stated that nearly 7 years after the approval of the amendatory ordinance, the provided hours of operations according to business owners could no longer justify their costs of operations which include electricity, water, rental fees, business taxes, and increase in price of products or services.
They added that their clients also voice out that the number of hours of operation of such establishments is no longer sensible as compared to other highly-urbanized cities and tourist destinations in the country.
After President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, it could be noticeable that police personnel has strictly implemented the liquor ordinance forcing some bar owners to close earlier than what they use to. Some also claim that they are being singled out by the police and they are compelled to close earlier while some bars were allowed to extend operations.
With the adoption of this experimental scheme, there is now a clearer guideline on the implementation of the liquor ordinance. What’s important now is to have a win-win solution wherein businessmen will be able to recover whatever losses they have incurred without compromising the safety of those who frequent bar establishments.
The resolution initially extends operations by one hour and the Baguio City Police Office in coordination with the barangays shall render a report to the City Mayor and the City Council on the result of the experimental scheme within 15 days after termination of the experiment.