FACT CHECK: Barangay Loyola Heights bans alcohol sale – report
MANILA, Philippines – On Friday, October 20, ABS CBN News reported that selling alcohol has been prohibited along major roads in Barangay Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
The report, aired during the late night news program Bandila, said that a joint resolution has been reached by barangay officials and residents which put the ban in place.
This is false.
While there is indeed a joint resolution crafted by officials and locals, it only urges the local government of Quezon City to put the ban, but the barangay itself has not passed an ordinance to the same effect.
This was confirmed to Rappler by Loyola Heights Barangay Captain Cesar Marquez, saying that the resolution is only a call for a ban, not a ban on its own.
This is evident in the title of the resolution itself: “A joint resolution of Loyola Heights stakeholders urging the Quezon City Government to prohibit the selling and serving of liquor or any alcoholic beverages within the territorial jurisdiction of barangay Loyola Heights.”
This is the reason why, as pointed out by the TV report, drinking pubs have not received a copy of any order which bans selling alcohol, and that police have not raided any bars.
Simply put, there is no ban – yet.
A last resort for local residents, officials
This does not mean, however, that no ban will occur in the future. Barangay residents and stakeholders still see the need for a ban.
According to Marquez, the resolution is the "last resort" to a longtime problem – drinking establishments skirting alcohol regulations.
He said establishments are not allowed to sell alcohol along some major roads in their barangay, such as Xavierville Avenue and Esteban Abada Street, as they have been classified as "residential areas."
In reality, they have been turned into drinking strips. Marquez said some establishments have gotten away from the zoning law by faking their addresses as "Katipunan Avenue", where bars are allowed. And some were just outright allowed by the QC local government, he added.
He said they tried to point this out to the city government but their calls have supposedly been landing on deaf ears.
Residents are disturbed by drunk customers – mostly students who study around the area – coming from the supposedly illegal bars.
"There are several students nag-pe-petty crimes sa mga places na yan. And you see them drinking in the streets, minsan nakahiga sa bangketa, sa pedestrian lanes. It’s really magulo talaga," Marquez told Rappler in a phone interview.
(There are students who commit petty crimes in those areas. You see them drinking in the streets, sometimes lying down on the sidewalks and even pedestrian lanes. It's really chaotic.) – Rappler.com