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Iloilo imposes 7-hour liquor ban

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The Province of Iloilo has prohibited the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks in public places from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) approved on third and final reading Provincial Ordinance No. 2020-235 or “An ordinance regulating the selling, furnishing, offering, buying, dispensing and transporting of liquor, coconut wine, and other nature wine, and alcoholic beverages, including the selling and drinking in public places, within the province of Iloilo.” (https://bit.ly/32UjuOT)

Authored by SP members Ramon Sullano, Domingo Oso and Carol Espinosa-Diaz, Section 4 (Regulated Acts) of the ordinance mandates the following:

* No person or business establishment is allowed to sell, furnish, offer, buy, dispense and serve any liquor or coconut wine and other nature wine, or any alcoholic beverages to any person from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., except on occasions permitted by the mayor.

* No person is allowed to drink liquor, coconut wine, other nature wine, or any alcoholic beverages in public places except on occasions permitted by the mayor, during religious masses and wedding ceremonies.

* No person or business establishments is allowed to sell, furnish, offer, buy, dispense and serve any liquor or coconut wine and other nature wine or any alcoholic beverages to minors.

The ordinance has a penalty clause for violations of Section 4.

* first violation – a fine of P1,000 or imprisonment of one day to 10 days or both, at the discretion of the court; if the offender is a corporation, partnership or other juridical entity, the president, manager, owner, supervisor or person in-charge, there’s a fine of P2,500 or imprisonment of five days to 15 days, or both at the discretion of the court.

* second violation – a fine of P2,000 or imprisonment of five days to 15 days, or both at the discretion of the court; if the offender is a corporation, partnership, or other juridical entity, the president, manager, owners, supervisor or person in-charge, there is a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of 10 days to 20 days, or both at the discretion of the court.

* third violation – a fine of P500 or imprisonment of 10 days to 20 days, or both at the discretion of the court; if the offender is a corporation, partnership or other juridical entity, the president, manager, owner, supervisor, or person in-charge, there is a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of 15 days to 30 days, or both at the discretion of the court, and cancellation of business permit.

If the violator is a public official or employee, any violation of the provisions of the ordinance shall be a ground for administrative sanctions.

Sullano said the liquor ban will ensure that the physical distancing public health safety protocol is observed at all times during the coronavirus disease pandemic.