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Pasay cites economic reasons, anxious residents for lifting liquor ban

/ 05:12 AM May 15, 2020

Pasay became the first city in Metro Manila on Thursday to lift its liquor ban for “economic reasons” and help stressed residents “deal with their anxieties.”

Ordinance No. 6107, which was signed on May 4, amended the first city ordinance that prohibited the sale, distribution and purchase of any kind of liquor or intoxicating beverage while the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was in effect.

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According to the revised ordinance, residents can now buy, distribute or sell alcohol between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily although “in no case shall drinking beyond the premises of the house, including backyards, and in any public place be allowed.”

There is a need to relax the total prohibition for “economic reasons” to help retailers and other businesses operating in Pasay City augment their sales during the pandemic, the ordinance said.

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The lifting of the liquor ban will also give residents the choice to buy and consume alcoholic drinks and “help them deal with their anxieties,” provided they do not drink in public places and observe social distancing, it added.

Councilor Moti Arceo, who was against the liquor ban in the first place, said the lifting would be beneficial.

“[After’] two months of being under the ECQ, people are stressed, anxious. I don’t want to deprive them of the freedom and choice to calm themselves once in a while. After all, they will not be drinking the whole day or throughout the night. They will not be drinking in a party,” he added.

Restaurants and bars in the city will remain closed, Arceo said.

A drinking ban remains in effect in Parañaque with Mayor Edwin Olivarez saying it would be extended until the end of the month “to strictly implement social distancing.”

The city, along with Mandaluyong, was among the first to implement such a prohibition way back in March.

Taguig and Makati, on the other hand, did not impose a similar ban although Taguig strictly prohibited the drinking of alcohol in convenience stores and other establishments allowed to operate under the ECQ.

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Other cities like San Juan, Pasig, Muntinlupa, Manila, Marikina, Quezon City, Caloocan, Navotas, Valenzuela and Malabon were also expected to extend their respective liquor bans until the end of the modified ECQ on May 31.

In an earlier report, the Department of Finance reported a slump in tax collection from alcohol products due to the prohibition.

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TAGS: city ordinance, COVID-19 Philippines, lifted, Liquor ban, Moti Arceo, Pasay, Quarantine
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