Baguio Council to conduct public hearings on liquor ban

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BAGUIO CITY  -The City Council will be calling for a series of public consultations to ascertain the sentiment of the concerned sectors and the public on the clamor for the lifting of the liquor ban in the city.

Vice Mayor Faustino A. Olowan pointed out that the implementation of the liquor ban resulted to the improvement of the peace and order situation in the city because liquor-related crimes, especially in night spots and liquor establishments, had drastically declined since the implementation of the Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Further, he stated the local government had been receiving numerous positive remarks when the liquor ban was imposed because people learned to stay at home and avoid drinking liquor in their neighborhood.

However, the vice mayor admitted that there are still individuals who were able to purchase liquor from the stores in the different barangays and drink the same in their homes but such instances are considered to be isolated incidents that is already out of the control of the authorities.

On the other hand, Olowan admitted that there are some quarters that are also calling for the immediate lifting of the liquor ban because their business operations had been significantly affected since the imposition of the ban on the selling, dispensing and drinking of liquor in the city during the ECQ and the prevailing general community quarantine (GCQ).

Earlier, the local legislative body approved a resolution mandating the imposition of a liquor ban in the city during the ECQ and GCQ to help in deterring the commission of crimes and sustain the prevalence of law and order.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong subsequently issued an order that imposed a liquor ban in the city and mandating the strict implementation of the provisions of the city’s liquor ordinance.

The local chief executive repeated announced in the social and mainstream media that he is not inclined to lift the prevailing liquor ban because its implementation resulted to the prevalence of law and order in the city during the ECQ and GCQ.

Olowan claimed it will be appropriate for the local legislative body to conduct the required public consultations with the concerned stakeholders and the public for them to ventilate the issues and concerns that they want the local government to know to serve as one of the modes in coming out with a decision on whether or not to lift the prevailing liquor ban.

He called on the public to understand the reason why the liquor ban was imposed because what is being prioritized by the local government is the health and safety of the residents, especially with the presence of a threat to their health condition in case they will be able to contract the dreaded Corona virus Disease (COVID) 2019 global pandemic.

Further, the city official noted that many housewives were elated over the strict enforcement of the liquor ban because their husbands who usually come home late and under the influence of liquor come home early and that unnecessary misunderstandings inside their residences have been prevented primarily due to the ongoing liquor ban which could be extended depending on what will be the future status of the city based on prevailing guidelines.

By Dexter A. See