Davao City mulls allowing liquor sans gathering

File photo by Mark Perandos

EVEN as the 24-hour liquor ban in Davao City is still in effect, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the City is thinking about "creating a balance" that would meet all the needs of stakeholders without sacrificing the basic public minimum health standards.

"Isa pud ni sa mga ginahuna-hunaan kung unsaon ba na ma-cater nato ang gusto sa mga tawo nga makapalit og alak nga dili sila magtapok og pagkahuman makanegosyo gihapon atong mga businessmen. Kana atong ginahuna-hunaan unsaon pagbalanse (We have been thinking about catering to the people who want to buy liquor without making them gather and at the same time allowing our liquor businessmen to operate)," Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday, April 12, 2021.

The mayor said one of her friends complained about Manila's liquor ban, questioning its connection with the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said if alcoholic drinks are available in places like sari-sari stores, people would buy and gather together, which violates the physical distancing and may result in the transmission of the virus.

"Mupalit ug magtapok gyud ang mga tao, 100 percent sure jud na basta available sya within reach diha sa sari-sari store, paghuman trabaho pag-abot sa balay, manawag gyud na og ‘shotting,’ human nature na. Pag magtapok ang mga tawo, maganahan si Covid kay mag-ambak-ambak sya sa mga participant nga nagtapok tungod sa inom (People will buy and gather, that’s 100 percent certain if liquor is within reach in sari-sari stores. After a day's work and upon arriving home, they would invite neighbors for a drink, that's human nature. When people gather, Covid-19 would love it as it can jump from each of the participants of the drinking session)," she explained.

Duterte-Carpio also cited validated reports on confirmed Covid-19 patients who contracted the virus during drinking sessions, based on their contact history.

The mayor said people drinking liquor is not a problem but her concern lies on how the city will be able to implement people drinking liquor without gathering.

She added, "Unsaon makainom nga dili magtapok, isa na sa atong ginahuna-huna paunsa nato sya mabalanse (How people can drink liquor without gathering, that's what we have really been thinking about to strike the right balance)."

The city extended the 24-hour liquor ban in all public places, along with the 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew, through Executive Order (EO) 12 and 12-A, that takes effect until May 31.

But the mayor mentioned in her radio interview that the liquor ban will stay until April 30 since the city is still under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Duterte-Carpio first imposed the 24-hour liquor ban last April 6, 2020 while the city was under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

She eventually lifted the 24-hour liquor ban on September 21 of the same year, during the period of the modified GCQ, citing reason to gradually allow business establishments to resume operations including businesses in the liquor industry.

During this time, however, the 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. liquor ban under Ordinance 004-12 Series of 2013, or an Ordinance Amending 1627, series of 2014 took effect again.

But during the latter part of MGCQ, Covid-19 cases in the city significantly increased, resulting in the reimposition of the liquor ban on November 2, 2020. The liquor ban remains in effect until today.


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