Issue of March 4, 2018
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Baguio closes 8 bars for curfew violations
by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO

The city government closed last week eight nightspots in various locations in Baguio for violating the curfew time for night establishments.

Padlocked based on the closure orders signed by Mayor Mauricio Domogan were the Red Lion Pub and Inn along Leonard Wood Road at M. Roxas Barangay; The Amper Sand (The Camp) also at M. Roxas; Susan’s Bar, Igorota’s Bar, and Golden Kalaleng Bar along Bokawkan Road; Supersonic KTV Bar along Abanao St.; the Likuor Store at Upper Gen. Luna Road; and Concoctions at Salud Mitra Barangay.

City Licensing Officer Allan Abayao said all the establishments violated the midnight closing time multiple times despite the considerations and leeway earlier given them by the city.

Based on the police and barangay affidavits and reports submitted as basis for the closure, most of them had been caught operating even until 3 a.m. for more than three times since November last year.

One establishment incurred 13 violations, another incurred 10, and two others incurred seven.

One establishment with three offenses was included in the clampdown because it had received ample warnings previously.

Abayao said the same night establishments were subjected to a compromise agreement during a meeting on Dec. 20, 2017 where the city relaxed the penalty by subjecting them only to a fine and waived the closure and permit revocation despite committing three offenses on condition that they will comply with the law and that the agreement would serve as ultimate warning to them.

However, the transgressions continued, which resulted in the clampdown.

Abayao said more establishments are expected to follow suit as the city continues the strict implementation of Ordinance, 88 s. 2009 which limits the operation of night establishments without dancing to midnight.

Members of the Baguio Association of Bars and Entertainers late last year tried to negotiate with the city government for the extension of the curfew time to 2 a.m. prompting two councilors to propose an amendatory ordinance which is still under study by the city council.

Domogan, however, said he was inclined to support the position of S/Supt. Ramil Saculles, Baguio City Police Office director, for a status quo to maintain the city’s peace and order noting that many crimes in the city are liquor-induced.

The mayor earlier rejected a city council proposal to extend the bars’ operation to 3 a.m. in deference to the Panagbenga celebration saying it does not sit well with the City’s Character City status and anti-crime thrust.

“I don’t want people to think that we encourage drinking in our city or that we are becoming a liquor or drinking capital. These are things that we can sacrifice to maintain the good image of our city and the safety of our constituents,” the mayor said.

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