LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government is not inclined to lift the prevailing liquor ban in the municipality following the downgrading of the province’s status from the previous modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ) from July 1-15, 2020.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda said that the prevailing liquor ban will not be lifted until such time that the status of the province will be upgraded in the coming days because it is the national inter-agency task force for the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases that is empowered to ascertain the degree of community quarantine that will be implemented in a certain locality.
He stated that he had been personally receiving numerous text messages from residents from the different barangays appealing to him to lift the existing liquor ban for them to be able to purchase much cheaper liquor from the stores but he politely informed them that he cannot do so as one of the prohibited acts during the prevalence of GCQ is the serving and drinking of liquor as well as the sale of the same.
According to him, what is important at this time is for people to abide by the prescribed guidelines on the community quarantine and the established health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the municipality following the sudden emergence of cases from the different barangays due to the alleged local transmission of the deadly virus.
Earlier, the provincial inter-agency task force left to the municipal mayors the decision on whether or not to lift the prevailing liquor ban in their respective areas of jurisdiction depending on the status of the province after the national inter-agency task force downgraded its status to GCQ from the previous MGCQ last June 1-30, 2020.
Mayor Salda pointed out that there had been numerous reports on the alleged sudden increase in the prices of liquor in various stores around the municipality primarily because of the prevailing liquor ban but the local government has no plans of lifting the same due to the determined GCQ status of the municipality.
He expressed his gratitude to the provincial inter-agency task force for authorizing local chief executives in the different municipalities to be the ones to decide on whether or not to lift the prevailing liquor ban in their places because they are fully aware of the real situation on the ground, especially on the prevalence of COVID cases that will serve as one of the major factors in guideline the mayors to come out with their verdict on the said matter.
He called on the residents to continue cooperating with the concerned government agencies and the local government, especially in complying with the stringent community quarantine guidelines and established health and safety protocols, because it is the only way to prevent more people from contracting and spreading the virus in the locality that will have an impact on the future status not only of the municipality but also the whole province.
He asserted that the COVID cases in the municipality are still manageable because there is no sudden surge in the number of affected individuals that will have an impact on the existing health facilities which could handle limited patients at one time.
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