‘NO EXEMPTION’

PSTMO: We’re fair in enforcing alcohol curfew

NIGHT SENTINEL. A policeman guards the entrance of Smallville Complex in Mandurriao, Iloilo City. Smallville is a popular strip of bars, restaurants and discotheques. An executive order of the city mayor enjoins these establishments to stop selling alcoholic beverages by 2 a.m. IAN PAUL CORDERO

ILOILO City – The Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) does not favor or exempt anyone in the enforcement of the 2 a.m. alcohol curfew. “We are fair. There is no reason for us to be selective,” said office chief Jeck Conlu.

According to an anonymous complaint that reached the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), the alcohol curfew is being implemented unevenly; some business establishments serving alcoholic beverages appeared to have unfairly secured exemptions.

Conlu said PSTMO issues warning to violators then alerts the Business Processing and Licensing Office (BPLO) about the erring establishments.

The business permits of violators may be revoked.

Mayor Jose Espinosa III’s Executive Order (EO) No. 146 issued last Dec. 14, 2017 mandated the closure by 2 a.m. of all establishments serving intoxicating liquor.

“What can we do? The PSTMO has no authority to penalize them,” said Conlu, adding that exacting accountability from the violators rests on the BPLO.

Early this month, PSTMO discovered that over 20 establishments were violating the EO regulating the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Most of the violators were in the City Proper, Mandurriao and Jaro districts, said Conlu.

He stressed the importance of public cooperation in this campaign. Information from concerned citizens is needed so that PSTMO could run after violators, he said.

In issuing the EO, Mayor Espinosa said he wanted to avert a breakdown of peace and order at night and early morning mostly caused by inebriated people.

Conlu said the alcohol curfew would be given more teeth if there is an ordinance on it, not just an EO.

Under the EO, an erring establishment’s business permit may be cancelled or not renewed.

Establishments covered by the EO – 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.

The EO, however, has exemptions. These are the following:

* hotels / motels

* resorts accredited by the Department of Tourism

* restaurants, provided they shall not sell nor serve nor dispense nor allow customers to drink within their premises from 2 a.m. until 8 a.m. on the same day, and

* convenience stores operating on a 24-hour basis, provided that such convenience stores may sell but shall not serve nor allow its customers to drink within its premises from 2 a.m. until 8 a.m. on the same day./PN

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