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Cebu City to lift liquor ban
But even then, Labella assured that “liquor marshals,” mostly coming from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), will be deployed to monitor establishments’ compliance to health protocols.

Cebu City to lift liquor ban

Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - May 5, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella is set to issue an executive order lifting the liquor ban in the city’s public places effective Friday, May 7, 2021.

But even then, Labella assured that “liquor marshals,” mostly coming from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), will be deployed to monitor establishments’ compliance to health protocols.

“Duna ta’y i-appoint nga mga liquor marshals. Magsuroy-suroy sa mga (establishments), naay imnanan kung nisunod ba gyud sa atong health protocols,” said Labella.

In modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas, only two servings of liquor in restaurants and bars are allowed.

Labella warned closing establishments that will violate the protocols.

“Of course, inig adto didto warningan gyud una sila, pero if they continue to violate, we will cancel their business permit,” he said.

Police Ready

For its part, the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) is gearing up for the possible effects of the liquor ban’s lifting.

Police Lt. Colonel Wilbert Parilla, CCPO deputy city director for operations, said the EOC has already called a meeting with the restobar owners to ensure that the minimum health standards will still be properly followed when the liquor ban has been lifted.

“Then aduna nay gilatag nga guidelines nga dapat sundon o mas strikto o mas dali sa atoang pa-check sa atoang health protocol sa tanan nato nga restobars. Duna say mga guidelines nga gipuno,” said Parilla.

Parilla said they are just awaiting Labella’s official executive order.

“Pwede na (drinking in public) pero naa gihapon restrictions. Di pwede public places. Usa sa atoang giduso nga guidelines sa mga public places, sa dalan sa restobars, and hotels, pwede na sila gi allow pero duna gihapo'y mga restrictions nga sundon,” said Parilla.

According to Parilla, they will discourage the passing of single glass during drinking sessions as it defeats the purpose of physical distancing.

Police will also be monitoring the implementation of the curfew even after the lifting of the liquor ban. He said they will remind establishment owners to close their shops at exactly 11 p.m.

“At least 10 o’clock or 30 minutes before curfew, closed na ang establishment kay molakaw pa man ang customers,” said Parilla.

‘Balance’

Labella said he decided to lift the liquor ban because of the appeal of the business sector to revive the economy.

He added the EOC and city health officials also gave their “favorable recommendation” to the lifting.

“We have to make a balance,” Labella said.

To recall, Labella signed the executive order formalizing the reimplementation of the liquor ban back in February.

The mayor earlier said he decided to re-impose the ban after it was observed that the leeway given to commercial establishments to serve two servings of liquor during MGCQ had been abused.

Now that he is set to lift the ban, Labella vowed that the city will continue to enforce minimum health protocols, especially that the number of daily COVID-19 cases reported is starting to drop.

Per the Department of Health in Central Visayas data, only nine new cases were recorded in Cebu City on May 3. The active cases in the city are at 819. — Iris Hazel M. Mascardo, JMD (FREEMAN)

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