ILOILO City – Operators of bars and other establishments dispensing alcoholic beverages have vowed to turn away minors. This is one of several measures they would be observing to ensure peace and order in their premises once the 2 a.m. alcohol curfew is lifted.
According to Jim Velez, president of the Smallville-Boardwalk Business Association, Inc., they are prepared to comply with all the conditions that the city government would be imposing for the lifting of the curfew.
Before he repeals Executive Order (EO) 146 that imposes the curfew on business establishments selling liquor, Mayor Jerry Treñas said they must first assure him they have enough measures to maintain order in their areas.
Prior to the issuance of EO 146 in December 2017, city policemen had been unable to prevent trouble most especially at Smallville Complex, a popular strip of bars, restaurants and hotels in Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao district. Most of those involved in booze-induced trouble were inebriated youngsters.
No minors should be allowed in alcohol-dispensing establishments, stressed Treñas.
He is scheduled to meet operators and owners of bars and similar establishments on July 11.
“Gusto ko nga may mga commitments man sila,” said Treñas.
No business establishments most especially at Smallville had been taken to task for admitting minors and selling them liquor even if the area was known to attract even under-aged clients.
This time, according to Velez, they would strictly implement the “no minors allowed” policy.
“I will be very strict sa minors. Maski isa lang ka okasyon nga may madakpan nga may minors, ipasara ta. I am waiting for the commitments of these establishments. The ball is in their hands now,” said Treñas.
Also, according to the mayor, these businesses must have functioning security cameras, security guards and bouncers.
Velez agreed. He also said they would be blacklisting troublemakers.
“Kon makit-an nila nga tam-an na sang inom ang customer, untatan na nila hatag,” said Treñas.
The mayor said he wanted to do away with the alcohol curfew to further boost the tourism sector, stressing that he intends to step up the promotion of Iloilo City as a MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) destination.
He already secured the commitment of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) to adjust its deployment of personnel and secure the metropolis from alcohol-fueled troublemakers.
The ICPO has enough policemen, according to spokesperson Police Captain Shella Mae Sangrines.
In issuing EO 146 in December 2017, then mayor Jose Espinosa III said he wanted to avert a breakdown of peace and order at night and early morning mostly caused by inebriated people.
Before he came out with the EO, a young man was shot dead at Smallville.
The business sector, however, was unenthusiastic of EO 146. In a previous interview, Iloilo Business Club executive director Lea Lara argued that the issue was primarily about responsible drinking. She wished that other options be explored because the city’s tourism industry may be adversely affected.
Restaurants and hotels – which almost always have bars – are among the local tourism industry’s key players.
Establishments covered by EO 146 – bars, nightclubs, restaurants – must set a time for receiving last orders from customers so as to meet the 2 a.m. curfew that stretches until 8 a.m./PN