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The Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) called for a meeting July 22, 2021 to tackle possible changes in the operation of entertainment establishments as the city is now under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ). Members and some representatives of the technical working team from the City Health Office (CHO), City Buildings Architecture Office (CBAO), City Legal Office (CLO), among others, and at least 10 resto-bar owners attended the meeting.
Based on the IATF Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines with Amendments as of April 03, 2021, entertainment venues such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters are prohibited to operate.
These establishments were one of the many businesses which suffered economically because of the pandemic. In order to help ease their burden, the technical working team decided to grant them the alternative to operate as mere restaurants provided they will comply with the curfew hours set by the respective barangays where they operate. The NIATF has disallowed the operation of live bands, karaoke, and other activities of these kinds as they are probable causes of transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
The businesses will be allowed to serve liquor until 6:00 in the evening. This, according to members of the team will help prevent accidents on the road caused by intoxicated drivers. “Nu nag-serve iti liquor after 6:00 pm, ma iclose ti establishment and your license will be revoked,” said Legal Officer Atty. Arthur Kub-ao.
One of the business owners in attendance raised the issue of some resto-bars in the city which are operating secretly and probably do not have permits to operate. Mr. Pierre Galicia of BPLO encouraged all the business owners to inform their office of any karaoke or videoke bars operating contrary to the guidelines issued by the CLGU and the National IATF so the same will be addressed accordingly. He also cautioned them from posting on social media saying this platform will not solve any problem but will often aggravate the situation.
All allowed business establishments need to comply with the requirements and submit the complete documents to the licensing office. The requirements include occupancy permit, barangay clearance, DTI business permit, among others.
For other business establishments which are not yet registered or those which need to renew their licenses, Galicia said they need to visit the BPLO at the Tabuk City Hall for more information. By Rio Dongcayan Bassong