Uniform closing time for night establishments proposed

BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance making uniform the allowed closing time for all establishments within the city that are operating during night time and amending for the purpose Ordinance No. 88, series of 2009 entitled “Further Amending Ordinance No. 1, series of 1990” which amended Ordinance No. 25, series of 1987 that codified the liquor ordinances in the city.

The ordinance authored by Councilors Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. and Elmer O. Datuin  stated that the uniform closing time for establishments with dancing and those without dancing will be fixed at 2 am daily.

The ordinance added through the years since its formal declaration as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, the city has become a favourite destination of local and foreign tourists thereby boosting the tourism and economic industries of the city that resulted to its robust development.

It can be recalled that Ordinance No. 25, series of 1987 was enacted codifying the liquor ordinances in the city and that it was amended by Ordinance No. 1, series of 1990 by providing for the allowed time of operation of establishments that are operating during night time.

With the tremendous influx of local and foreign visitors, in the city during scheduled vacations and long holidays, the ordinance claimed that night establishments are among their favourite destinations.

However, the proponents pointed out that in many occasions, owners of the night establishments are constrained to request their customers to leave because of the mandated closing time as provided in the measure.

According to them, worthy of consideration is the clamor of owners and operators of business establishments operating during night time that their mandated closing time under Ordinance No. 88, series of 2009 be revisited and revised considering that it is no longer commensurate to the operational expenses which include, among others, utility devices, permit fees and other taxes, rental fees and the increase in the prices of their products and services.

The two local legislators underscored there is a need to revise the time of operation for all business establishments operating during night time by providing for uniform closing time for the said business establishments to prevent confusion among customers on what establishments to patronize with the varied closing time.

Police authorise have proposed for the uniform closing time of night establishments to be at 12 midnight to allow the law enforcers to be able to concentrate in anti-criminality and peacekeeping operations right after the closure of their operations instead of their attention being divided in conducting the needed inspections to establishments with varied closing time and performing their various duties and responsibilities.

The proposed ordinance was referred to the City Council Committee on Laws for further study and recommendation prior to the approval of the proposal on second and third readings in the future.

By Dexter A. See

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