PNP to monitor beerhouses, bars
PNP deputy chief for administration Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said police were alarmed by reports that several nightlife establishments have started accepting flocks of customers.
The STAR/Boy Santo
PNP to monitor beerhouses, bars
Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - September 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Warning other establishments against quarantine violations, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has ordered all police commanders nationwide to keep tabs on beerhouses, bars and other businesses serving liquor after the string of operations last week that saw the arrest of 134 people.

PNP deputy chief for administration Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said police were alarmed by reports that several nightlife establishments have started accepting flocks of customers.

Under quarantine guidelines, bars can operate only as restaurants, with limits on the number of customers and alcoholic drinks that can be served.

Owners are also required to discourage prolonged stay inside their establishment. As such, live band performances and similar activities are discouraged.

Eleazar said police commanders would be monitoring these establishments as the government sees them as a potential “ground zero of mass infection.”

“Based on the guidelines issued by the IATF-MEID, the operation of beerhouses, bars and other similar establishments are still prohibited under the modified general community quarantine, and much more under the general community quarantine,” Eleazar said in a statement yesterday, referring to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“So any attempt to accept customers is already a clear violation of IATF guidelines and possibly even local ordinances,” he added.

Last week, 95 people – eight of them foreigners – were caught in a restobar in Quezon City that has since been shuttered by the city government for violating quarantine restrictions. In Makati, some 39 individuals were arrested for drinking inside a bar, which is prohibited by the local government.

Police have grown wary that many other nightlife establishments, especially in urban areas in provinces, were operating in the same discreet manner.

“That is why our commanders on the ground should regularly check on these establishments,” Eleazar said.

For similar offenses, police said customers would be required to pay fines for violating ordinances on quarantine restrictions and may face further arrest and charges if not settled. This is aside from criminal charges that would be filed against the owners and the customers who would be caught.

Eleazar said police commanders had been ordered to coordinate with local government units to ensure violators are able to pay the fines.

“There were already instances in the past of drinking sessions leading to mass infection. As responsible business people, they should follow the existing rules so that they will not add to the coronavirus infection problems. And as responsible citizens, people should not really go to these places if they are mindful of their own and their family’s protection from the infection,” Eleazar said.

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