Cebu City stores may sell liquor, but public drinking still banned
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Alcohol sales may resume, but consumption can only be done at home. This was clarified in a new executive order extending the lockdown or “enhanced community quarantine” was signed by Mayor Edgar Labella on Tuesday, April 28.
Executive Order No. 073 reiterated a previous ban on liquor. But while the previous order banned both selling and consuming, the new one only banned consumption in public places.
What does the new order say?
Section 4 of the order reads: “A total liquor ban in public in all public places is hereby imposed within the City of Cebu upon the effectivity of this order. As such, it shall be prohibited for any person to drink intoxicating liquor in any public place within the City of Cebu during the entire period of Enhanced Community Quarantine.”
Does this mean the liquor ban is lifted?
The liquor ban is, in effect, partially lifted. But stores could have resumed selling liquor as early as April 14.
"Selling and drinking alcohol in public places is not allowed, but drinking at home is okay under the new EO," Cebu City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. was quoted in a report in SunStar Cebu.
Labella’s EO No. 53 banned the sale of – and public consumption of liquor – while the city was still under general community quarantine.
That order was signed on March 16, with an expiration of April 14.
When the city shifted to enhanced community quarantine through EO No. 64 on March 28, an extension of the total liquor ban was not included. There was also no modification to that order in EO 64.
A city hall official clarified with reporters that there was no extension on the original ban on selling liquor.
Why aren’t stores selling liquor if the order expired?
But most convenience stores and supermarkets in the city have not resumed selling liquor products, seemingly unaware of the expiration of the ban.
No announcement was made by the mayor nor its official social media channels. Local media also seemed to have forgotten about the expiration date of the order.
Cebu province’s liquor ban, which went into effect on March 30 with its own lockdown, did not ban the sale of liquor as long as it is not consumed in public spaces.
There are currently 451 confirmed cases of the virus in Cebu City.
As of Monday, April 27, the country breached 7,777 confirmed coronavirus cases with 511 deaths and 932 recoveries. – Rappler.com