More areas lift liquor bans starting June 1 with conditions

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 31) — More local governments have eased their ban on the sale and consumption of liquor and other alcoholic drinks starting June 1 as their areas shift to general community quarantine.

Among these are the city governments of Parañaque and Antipolo, which are under the jurisdiction of the National Capital Region and Region IV-A (Calabarzon), respectively. These regions are among the areas that will be under GCQ until June 15.

"[U]nder the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of the Community Quarantine issued by the IATF, most businesses may operate during the General Community Quarantine (GCQ), and therefore the existing liquor ban may be relaxed," read Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez's executive order.

"[T]he suspension of permit to sell liquor and other intoxicating and alcoholic beverages previously imposed, is hereby lifted" beginning the first day of June, he said.

Meanwhile, in a Facebook post, Jun Ynares, spokesperson of Antipolo mayor Andeng Ynares, said the ban was lifted because some residents resort to secretly purchasing alcoholic beverages in other places allowing it, or asking others to purchase the said goods for them in the black market, where the products are priced much higher.

Other businesses have been closed down and the incomes of stores have also been affected by the ban, he added.

The government of Cavite, a province also under Region IV-A, had also announced the lifting of its liquor ban. However, this shall take effect at 1 p.m. on Monday, Governor Jonvic Remulla posted on Facebook.

However, the easing of the liquor ban in both cities comes with certain conditions. For instance, drinking in public is still prohibited.

"Bawal ang public intoxication. Pag kayo ay naglalakad sa kalye at [a]moy chiko kayo ay tepok kayo sa batas," said Remulla.

[Translation: Public intoxication is prohibited. If you're walking in the streets and you smell like liquor, you're in trouble with the law.]

Establishments in Cavite may only sell liquor and alcoholic beverages from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., said Remulla. Residents may also purchase only a certain volume of alcoholic drinks per day, he added, explaining this is to avoid possible drunken commotions after a long period of prohibiting the consumption of liquor.

In his order, Olivarez reiterated restaurants, bars and other establishments are still not allowed to serve liquor.

"Tanging quarantine pass holders lang ang pwedeng bumili," said Ynares. This is also among the conditions Remulla had set for Cavite.

[Translation: Only quarantine pass holders may purchase (liquor and alcoholic beverages).]

Ynares and Remulla also reiterated mass gatherings are still prohibited, which is in accordance with the rules set by Inter-agency Task Force.