MEMBERS of the Baguio Association of Bars and Entertainers (BABES) have committed to clean their areas and abide by the city laws in a bid to resume operations.
This commitment was contained in a new manifesto that they submitted to Mayor Benjamin Magalong Friday afternoon, August 23, 2019.
Over 30 bars have been ordered shuttered. Magalong said they will remain closed until he is convinced that the owners will obey the law and protect the youth.
The closure order was issued after reports that women were being molested in the bars, and minors were allowed to enter and get drunk reached the mayor’s office.
Magalong earlier rejected the first manifesto of commitment that the bar owners submitted, saying it lacked sincerity.
Under the new manifesto, “bar owners should be vigilant in protecting the youth by not allowing minors within night spots and not allowing them to consume liquor; to be on the lookout on the presence of drugs and drug use within their premises and to report such actions to authorities; to participate and be active in seminars pertaining to drugs and drug use and other seminars pertaining to their operations.”
The bar owners also pledged “to care for the customers, men and women alike.”
Moreover, they vowed to “see to it that no sexual molestation and harassment is done to them, most especially to women customers and be part of peace and order campaign of the City Government in terms of providing for CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras in our establishments and deployment of adequate number of security, close monitoring and coordination with different barangays and substations where we are located.”
Bar owners also vowed they will be “active in community service, city-wide activities, environmental protection and cleanliness as support of the programs of the city.”
Magalong said aside from violating the sanitation and peace and order regulations, some bar owners falsely registered their facilities as restaurants.
Allan Abayao, City Permits and Licensing Division chief, said that since the start of the new administration, a total of 37 bars have been closed as of August 22.
Nine of the establishments were operating as bars and serving liquor despite having permits as restaurants or coffee shops while the rest were operating without any permit at all.
The mayor said that in their initial meeting, he reprimanded and admonished these establishments for various violations.
He said these acts will never be tolerated by his administration.
He challenged those who pressed charges against the City Government to pursue the cases against them.
The City Legal Office said the city has so far received two suits. First for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, declaration of nullity of closure order and prayer for issuance of a status quo ante order and damages filed by PLP Business Developers Corp., which operated at the Maharlika Livelihood Center; second, for preliminary injunction with temporary restraining order filed by Ma. Patricia Thompson, operator of Sgt. Pepper club which was recently closed for operating as a bar despite having a permit as a restaurant.
Allan Bandoy, BABES president, meanwhile said bars that were closed due to operating without business permit should first comply with all the requirements including their commitment before they will be issued a business permit and allowed to operate again.
Bandoy, in a statement, added establishments that were closed like restaurants, coffee shops, eatery because they were operating as bars, which is not included in their line of business, should only operate as restaurant, coffee shop, eatery as indicated in their permits until they will be issued a permit to operate as a bar.
“Establishments that were closed in violation of City Ordinances and filed a case in court against Mayor Benjie and I, in our respective capacities, should not be opened yet pending court litigation on the matter. As for Maharlika bars, Judge Rofus Malecdan of Regional Trial Court 60 denied their prayers and sustained last week their closure.” (With PR)