BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan supported the standing proposal of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) headed by Senior Superintendent Ramil L. Saculles for the local government to institute a unified closing time for bars in the city to lessen liquor-related crimes and allow law enforcers to concentrate in their anti-criminality and peacekeeping efforts in the city.
The local chief executive said bars may be mandated to close at 12 midnight considering that most of the liquor-related crimes have been recorded to be happen during the prevailing closing time of night establishments at 2 am, thus, the local legislative body must legislate a prescribed closing time for bars to institute the necessary changes to respond to these documented observations.
“The BCPO is in the best position to make the appropriate recommendations for the adoption of a unified closing time for our night establishments to further improve the peace and order situation in our city for the benefit of both the residents and the tourists. While there is a need to look into the business aspect of the matter, the greater interest of the public, which is good peace and ordered situation, must be the primordial consideration in the adoption of the appropriate changes to the prevailing closing time of bars and other similarly situated night establishments,” Domogan stressed.
He added the La Trinidad municipal council passed an ordinance prescribing the closing time of night spots in its areas of jurisdiction at 12 midnight, and individuals under the influence of liquor wanting to continue drinking intoxicating drinks will now flock to the city to do so because they have still two hours to enjoy their night life and when in the said establishments, there is a big possibility they will get in trouble with similarly situated individuals that add up to liquor-related crimes recorded by the police who respond to the troubles emanating from the night spots.
According to him, monitoring the operation of night spots, especially their compliance to the prescribed closing time pursuant to existing ordinances, is not only the job of the law enforcers but also bar owners who must comply with existing regulations to close on time or else face the penalties contained in the city’s liquor ordinance.
Domogan emphasized there had already been numerous instances of untoward incidents outside night establishments being televised puts the city in bad light because even if these incidents are isolated cases, the fact remains that those who were involved in the said incidents came from the various bars operating in the different parts of the city.
He appealed to the bar owners to understand the position of the law enforcers in recommending an early and unified closing time of night establishments because it is the greater interest of the residents and visitors being given primordial consideration and not the interest of certain sectors of the community, especially when the issue of peace and order is at stake.
By Dexter A. See