BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered the owners of the seventy-nine bars found violating the prescribed closing time of their establishments and issued citation tickets by the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to pay their fines as soon as possible and warned that a repeat of their violation will constrain the local government to close their establishments permanently.
During a recent meeting with the affected bar owners at the City Mayor’s Office, the local chief executive asserted that the prescribed closing time of bars defined under the provisions of Ordinance No. 88, series of 2009 is clear, thus, bar owners must comply with the prescribed closing time so that they can contribute in efforts by the city government and the BCPO to reduce the liquor-related crimes that affect the city’s peace and order situation.
“We seek the cooperation of our bar owners with the existing ordinance so we can achieve lesser liquor-related crimes in our city and to instill discipline among our constituents and visitors in the observance of the prescribed closing time of night establishments. We want our businessmen to earn income but not to the extent of violation existing ordinances,” Domogan stressed.
City Permits and Licensing Officer Allan Abayao reported that of the 79 bars that were issued citation tickets, 24 were first-time violators, 26 were second-time violators, 5 were third-time violators and 1 was a fourth-time violator and 23 first-time offenders did not pay their fines with the City Treasury Office.
Abayao said that the fines of the violators will be carried over next year and that the business permits of the said establishments will not be renewed unless they are able to settle their obligation with the local government.
Domogan explained to the bar owners that the payment of their fines should not be used as an excuse for the repeat of violations because they were given only a temporary compromise as what is contained in the ordinance is for the closure of the establishment and revocation of the owner’s permit to operate after the fourth offense.
On his part, BCPO City Director Senior Superintendent Ramil L. Saculles reminded the bar owners to properly manage the operation of their establishments so that they will not be issued citation tickets for violation of the prescribed closing time considering that based on the data obtained from their geographic information system-based crime analysis, most of the crimes against persons and properties are reportedly liquor-related.
Saculles pointed out that if the bar owners could not discipline their customers, then they must start hiring security guards who will implement the prescribed closing time to lessen the burden from the law enforcers in monitoring their compliance to the ordinance which takes them away from other hot spot areas to deter the occurrence of crimes.
Under the ordinance, the closing time of bars without dancing is 12 midnight while those night establishments with dancing is at 2 am daily. Violators of the ordinance are fined P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense, P4,000 for the third offense and P5,000 and revocation of business permit for the fourth offense.
By Dexter A. See