Caloocan next to lift liquor ban after Pasay, Marikina and Quezon City | Inquirer News
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Caloocan next to lift liquor ban after Pasay, Marikina and Quezon City

By: - Reporter / @MegINQ
/ 04:02 AM May 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Following the lead of Pasay, Marikina and Quezon City, the local government of Caloocan has also lifted its liquor ban, saying that the availability of alcoholic beverages in neighboring cities may mean losses for local businesses.

Between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily effective on May 16, the sale and purchase of alcohol is allowed in Caloocan, although there will be a cap on the volume a person can buy, depending on the type of liquor.

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Under City Ordinance No. 0869, residents can each buy only up to five bottles/cans (500 milliliters each) or two 1-liter bottles of beer; two bottles of 1-L wine; or one bottle of 1-L gin, whiskey, brandy or other hard liquor.

Distributors selling to wholesalers or high-volume retailers such as grocery stores, to low-volume retailers like neighborhood “sari-sari” stores and other similar establishments are not covered by the volume restrictions.

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Residents may drink only inside their houses or garages “provided that group drinking shall be limited to a maximum of three persons, and strict social distancing and other precautionary measures, including the avoidance of the customary one shot glass, shall be observed at all times.”

Penalty for violators

Violators of the city ordinance will be fined P500 for the first offense, P1,000 for the second offense and P1,500 for the third offense.

In partially lifting the ban, the city council cited the modified enhanced community quarantine guidelines, which permitted manufacturing industries to operate at 50 percent of their operational capacity.“Other nearby cities have lifted the liquor ban, which may in one way or the other provide residents of the City of Caloocan the opportunity to purchase liquor from other cities, defeating the prohibition on the sale of liquor in the city, to the damage and prejudice of local business establishments in Caloocan,” the ordinance read.

In San Juan, Mayor Francis Zamora sent a letter to the city council dated May 15 to ask that it consider, during its regular session today, May 18, an ordinance that would end the “prohibition on selling, serving and/or drinking of beer, liquor and/or alcoholic beverage of any kind.”

Prepandemic normalcy

In a television interview, Zamora said lifting the ban would be one of several small steps that could give residents a semblance of prepandemic normalcy. He cautioned, however, that public drinking would still be prohibited under new regulations.

While some cities have opted to provide a short window period for the sale of alcohol, the mayor indicated San Juan would not go that route. As long as alcohol was consumed inside the house, it didn’t “really matter what time [people] buy it,” he said.

The liquor ban in the city has been in place since March 31, while San Juan was declared under a state of calamity. —With a report from Matthew Reysio-Cruz INQ

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