BAGUIO CITY – Fifteen out of the 44 padlocked night spots have reopened after complying with the permit requirement and the other terms stipulated in their joint commitment to Mayor Benjamin Magalong last week.
The undertaking signed and submitted by close to 250 bar owners belonging to the Baguio Association of Bars and Entertainment Society (BABES) last Aug. 23 spelled out their ten-point commitment to comply with the city’s regulations foremost on business permits and to uphold peace and order, decency and protection of the youth and women in their operations.
The mayor told the City Hall Hour-Ugnayan press briefing Tuesday that while he was convinced of the bar owners’ sincerity when they came up with the commitment, they would need to uphold their pledges on a long-term basis of face the ultimate penalty of having their permits revoked.
He said he trusts that they will remain true to their vow to police their own rank and conduct their own regular checking to supplement the monitoring being done by the city, police and the community.
City permits and licensing officer Allan Abayao said ten establishments reopened after promising to adhere to their approved line of business which is either as restaurant or coffee shop. The other five were bars without permit which were allowed to re-operate after securing their business licenses.
In their commitment, the bar owners pledged not to allow minors to enter their establishments and not to serve liquor to them, to be vigilant against illegal drugs and abusive behavior against women, to adopt measures to beef up security and to avoid being nuisance, enhance cooperation with the law enforcers and the barangays, to contribute to community causes, to follow ordinances regulating their operations, to secure proper business permits and to pay correct taxes.
The mayor began the crackdown at the start of his term personally joining the inspections and closure operations to send a message that the city will not tolerate illegal and willful acts by any business establishment.
Some of the closed establishments were operating as bars and serving liquor despite having permits as restaurants or coffee shops while majority were operating without any permit at all. The mayor also noted various violations like molestation of women, allowing minors in and even serving liquor to them, operating without permit and circumventing their permits.
By: Aileen P. Refuerzo