City dads enact ordinance banning group drinking

NAGA CITY --- The Sangguniang Panlungsod here on Friday, July 10 enacted City Ordinance No. 2020-060 regulating group drinking of alcoholic beverages to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the city.

The measure was passed after Mayor Nelson S. Legacion urged residents to rally behind the campaign against the highly contagious Covid-19 as recent cases in the city showed that many of those tested positive for the disease were drinking buddies of returning residents infected with the virus.

One of the provisions in the ordinance stated that the course of action taken by the city council is part of the sworn duty of the city government to come up with all possible strategies within the bounds of the Philippine Constitution to protect the people and promote their well-being.

Section 1 of the ordinance provides that drinking of beer, liquor, or any other alcoholic beverages by a group of 2 or more individuals when everyone drinks from 1 and the same glass shared by all, or in any such other manner or practice that facilitates or results in physical contact between and among the group is prohibited. An administrative fine of P3,000 shall be imposed upon each person violating the ordinance. He/she shall also be prosecuted and upon conviction shall be imprisoned for 2 months to six months at the discretion of the court.

“If the breach of this Ordinance takes place in a household or establishment with permission or tolerance of the owner, manager, or person in charge thereof, a fine of P3,000 for the first violation shall be imposed upon the owner, manager, or person in charge thereof, and P5,000 and closure of the establishment for the second and subsequent violations,” the ordinance’s penalty clause stated.

The prohibition, which is temporary under Section 2, carried an exception that drinking is allowed when the drinking is to be done between and among the same family members within their respective household premises.

A mandatory review of the measure that will be undertaken before the end of three months from the effectivity of the ordinance shall determine if the prohibition will be repealed or amended after the city government, in consultation with the public, has reviewed the impact and determined the efficacy of Section 2 in the LGU’s fight against the disease.