Ordinance vs public drinking hurdles 3rd and final reading

LAWMAKERS passed on final reading the Sobriety Ordinance of Davao City that effectively bans drinking in public places at all times.

The council will soon forward the measure to City Hall for Mayor Sara Duterte’s signature.

The ordinance prohibits alcoholic beverages in barangay roads and gyms, public streets, sidewalks, public parks, playgrounds, and other public areas at all times.

The ordinance, authored by Councilor Mabel Acosta, also bans the drinking of alcoholic beverages inside a vehicle found or parked within the prohibited areas.

Violators will be fined P3,000 for the first offense and P5,000 and imprisonment of three months to one year at the discretion of the court for subsequent offenses.

If minors are caught violating the ordinance, they shall be endorsed to the social welfare office for assessment in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Law.

However, customers of any establishment whose business is authorized or permitted by the city government to use a portion or part of the street, sidewalk or public park are exempted from the provisions of this proposed ordinance.

Special occasions or festivities that will be authorized or permitted by the city government or the barangay will also be exempted. But they must secure a permit with the barangay or city.

The existing Liquor Ban Ordinance of Davao – Ordinance No. 004-13 — only bans the drinking of alcoholic beverage inside business establishment and other public places from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Atty. Osmundo Villanueva of the City Legal Office said owners and patrons are not excused from the ordinance even if they order the drinks ahead of the liquor ban.

All drinks, he said, must be consumed by 1 a.m.

Mayor Duterte said the city would have to insist that no alcoholic beverages be served or consumed during the hours of the ban.

“Because it would appear to us regulators that you (establishments) are still serving the items,” Duterte said.

The Vice Regulation Unit (VRU), which will implement smoking, liquor and other related prohibitions, will be tasked to implement the Sobriety Ordinance.

Police officers and barangay security officers will also be tapped to help in the enforcement.

In April last year, Mayor Duterte signed the executive order creating the VRU.

The local government is cracking down on what it calls a “circumvention of the law” for establishments that serve liquor beyond 1 a.m.

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