BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The lifting of the partial liquor ban, and curfew, especially for 23 years-old and above depends on Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
The clarification was made by Bacolod Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran on the appeal made by the business sector in the city to lift the partial liquor ban and the curfew to give way for the recovery of the night businesses.
Familiaran said they received the position letter of the businessmen late Friday afternoon and conducted the meeting to discuss it on Monday but the decision will be made by the mayor and not by the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
A joint position letter of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Negros Occidental, and the Resort Association of Negros Island stressed that the community quarantine due to the pandemic has triggered loss of jobs and livelihood for many.
The business sector said that many businesses, including small and micro enterprises, were forced to close leaving many workers jobless most especially in the tourism sector.
APPEAL VS. LIQUOR BAN
Roberto Magalona, director of HRANO, said many restaurants are now trying to get back and operate again with reduced capacities but these establishments should be spared from the existing partial liquor ban.
Magalona said many restaurants only offer liquor as a side-drink along with the main dish, unlike in beerhouses and clubs where alcoholic beverages are their main offerings.
He said that usually, their customers only order a few drinks and immediately leave after dining.
Magalona also said that most of their customers dine after 6 p.m., the cut-off for the serving of liquor and other alcoholic beverages, based on an executive order issued by Leonardia.
MBCCI chief executive officer Frank Carbon said almost three-fourths of the workers, especially in the tourism industry, have not reported back to work yet and if the liquor ban and curfew continue, many businesses may be forced to shut down for lack of customers.
Carbon said the city government should reconsider their appeal, especially that most food businesses attract customers through the beverages that they sell.
CURFEW STILL ON
On Sunday, Leonardia stressed that the curfew hours in Bacolod will not be lifted and will remain between 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. although it may be subject to change, depending on the situation. He also said that partial liquor ban will still be in effect and alcoholic beverages will be served from noontime to 6 p.m. while its consumption must be in private residences, unless a new order or city ordinance repealing is issued.*