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Amendments to Ordinance prohibiting drinking in public places pushed

THE City Council committee on public order and safety, chaired by Councilor Romeo V. Calizo, is mulling amendments to Ordinance No. 5133-95, also known as “An Ordinance Prohibiting the Drinking of Alcoholic Liquor and other Intoxicating Beverages in all Public Plazas, Roads, Sidewalks and Alleys of the City and its Barangay Except on Official Functions.”

At the recent meeting, the committee thoroughly discussed the draft amendment filed by Councilor James K. Judith II. Atty. Jose Edgardo Uy of the Regulatory Compliance Board (RCB), said the word “public places”, as provided for in E.O. No. 26, Series of 2017, should mean all places, fixed or mobile, that are accessible or open to the public or places for collective use, regardless of ownership or right to access, including but not limited to, schools, workplaces, government facilities, and establishments that provide food and drinks, accommodation, merchandise, professional services, entertainment or other services.

He added that the term also includes outdoor spaces where facilities are available for the public or where a crowd of people would gather, such as, but not limited to, playgrounds, sports ground or centers, church grounds, health/hospital compounds, transportation terminals, market, parks, resorts, walkways/sideways, entrance ways, waiting areas, and the line.

This was affirmed by Calizo, citing that a “catch-all” definition should be provided to include all other places where people meet and converge and do some drinking sessions.

“In this particular ordinance, we should provide a catch-all definition ug dili lang kaning naka indicate dinhi na mga places like plaza, park kay dali raman ni sabton sa atong mga police. Pero kani bitaw makiglalis pa ta sa atong mga batan-on og mga tawo na moanha diha, that should be well-defined kay para pud dili maglisod ang atong kapolisan, RTA, RCB and all other enforcers,” he further explained.

Meanwhile, Councilor James K. Judith II expressed his intention to increase the penalties of the ordinance as these are no longer relevant at present.

“Kay diri raman gyud ko kutob sa P5,000 tungod sa provision sa Local Government Code pero naka request nako sa atong duha ka congressmen na siguro naay amendment kay murag dili na haum sa atong panahon, siguro patas-an na nato ang penalties kay kataw-an na ang singko mil,” Judith manifested.

As this developed, Councilor John Michael L. Seno proposed a resolution requesting the city’s two congressional representatives to craft a law that will amend the Local Government Code specifically on the provision increasing the penalties that can be imposed by local government units.

These and other provisions in the amendment from the “catch-all” definition to the penalties were all duty noted and to be reflected in the draft ordinance.

The meeting was also attended by Councilors Malvern A. Esparcia, Jose Pepe S. Abbu, Jr., and Yevonna Yacine B. Emano.

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