Business permits of violators to be revoked, BPLO warns

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FOLLOWING the implementation of a liquor ban in Cebu City, the Cebu City Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) warned that establishments found serving liquor will face revocation of their business permits.

BPLO head Jared Limquiaco, however, emphasized that convenience and sari-sari stores as well as other business establishments can still sell liquor.

Store operators just have to make sure that their customers will not consume the liquor in their stores.

“Establishment owners would be held liable if the customer drinks in their premises. They can’t use the alibi that the customer is drinking the liquor outside their store,” Limquiaco said Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.

With the reimposition of a liquor ban effective Feb. 3, Police Col. Josefino Ligan said the Cebu City Police Office has intensified “Oplan Bulabog” to go after both curfew and liquor ban violators.

He said they will also go after those who violate the minimum public health standards.

“We have been conducting roving patrols every night to enforce the curfew. This time, we will also enforce the liquor ban,” he said.

He said they will focus on the interior portions of barangays in the wake of complaints that some people continue to hold drinking sessions by the roadside.

He said establishments selling liquor learned their lesson after cases were filed against them in court.

“This time, we will focus on the barangays,” Ligan said.

He said Cebu City residents should be aware that drinking sessions and other gatherings could be a source of Covid-19 transmission.

Ligan said barangay officials could also help enforce the liquor ban.

Meanwhile, Limquiaco assured that due process will be observed before a business permit is revoked.

He said establishment owners will still be given time to explain why their permits should not be cancelled.

Before the liquor ban was imposed again on Feb. 3, the BPLO could only cancel the establishments’ license to sell liquor.

“There’s no point in revoking the liquor license. This time, we will revoke their business permit,” Limquiaco said.

He said hotels can serve liquor to their in-house guests, provided the guests consume it in their rooms.

Prior to the implementation of the liquor ban, the liquor permits of two establishments were cancelled.

There is also one establishment being investigated for possible violation of quarantine policies.

Limquiaco urged the establishments to comply with the executive order issued by Mayor Edgardo Labella to avoid facing penalties.

Also pending before the Cebu City Council is the proposal to amend the Anti-Drunkenness Ordinance and prohibit public consumption of liquor and other alcoholic beverages during a state of public health emergency. (JJL / AYB)