San Juan, Mandaluyong lift liquor ban but drinking in public still prohibited

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 19) — The cities of Mandaluyong and San Juan have lifted their liquor ban, citing the need for retailers and businesses to recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus disease.

In an ordinance, the city government of Mandaluyong said the temporary liquor ban, which the city had enacted on March 18, has “greatly affected” the livelihood of many people, including owners of sari-sari stores and other small business establishments, and their employees.

"There is a possibility that if the ban continues, the industry may not survive leading not only to the unemployment and displacement of many employees and workers, but also affecting the benefits that it brings to the Philippine economy,” it said.

The city of San Juan, which enforced its liquor ban on March 26, also noted the need to relax the total prohibition for economic reasons.

Both cities now allow the selling, purchasing, and consumption of alcoholic beverages, but clarified that drinking in public places remains prohibited. The San Juan city government emphasized that alcohol consumption is only allowed inside the house, where physical distancing should still be strictly observed.

The temporary liquor ban was implemented in several areas nationwide to promote social distancing during the quarantine period to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. More local government units have eased restrictions as most of the country shifts to more relaxed quarantine protocols.