March 28, 2023

Mayor Benjamin Magalong reconsidered the decision to reimpose liquor ban in the city supposed to take effect Sept. 21 following findings that unbridled drinking sprees caused the two recent clustering of Covid-19 cases in the city.
Instead of the liquor sale and consumption prohibition, the mayor said the city through the barangays and law enforcement agencies will just intensify monitoring and policing of residents to ensure compliance with health protocols.
“What happened at Sto. Niño (slaughterhouse compound) and Ferdinand barangays must not be disregarded but we also have to consider the economic repercussions of implementing another liquor ban at this time when businesses are struggling to recoup their losses,” the mayor said.
“We needed to balance our decision and we decided for a win-win solution.”
The mayor issued a memorandum directing concerned agencies and barangays to strictly monitor and ensure that people adhere to basic protocols.
Memorandum 337-2020 reads:
“Over the weekend, our testing operations resulted in two barangays under hard lockdown, and several others on lockdown for purposes of contact tracing;
“Our contact tracing teams have identified that several of our active cases had attended drinking sessions, shared eating utensils with companions, engaged in prolonged unnecessary social gatherings, and were unable to observe proper social distancing;
“Henceforth, you (punong barangays) are directed to implement and strictly monitor the public’s compliance with our standard health and safety protocols. Exercise all lawful means necessary to ensure that our citizens keep themselves, and each other, well protected and safe from Covid-19 transmission through proper wearing of face masks, practicing basic hand hygiene and cough etiquette, not sharing drinking and eating utensils, and maintaining appropriate physical distancing. During this time of public health emergency, discipline, precaution, and responsible behavior are paramount qualities in our response and mitigation mechanisms, and these shall be applied first and foremost in our communities.”
The mayor further appealed to the public to do their share by not neglecting their responsibility of obeying the Covid-19 safety measures at all times.
“Let us continue to espouse discipline wherever we are and whatever we do. It is our only hope in surviving the virus and moving on with our lives. When we drink, please make sure that we don’t overdo it. Drink moderately and be virus-free,” he said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo