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Despi orders liquor ban to address spread of infection

'Tagay' blamed for community transmissions in Bantayan town

By: Doris C. Bongcac - Editor/CDN Digital | August 02,2020 - 09:23 AM

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – The sales and drinking of liquor are now prohibited in Bantayan town in  Batayan Island.

Mayor Arthur Despi said that “tagay,” where drinkers share liquor by passing around a single glass, was found to be the main cause for the community transmission of the coronavirus disease in his town.

The ban that is contained in Executive Order No. 42 which Despi signed Saturday night, August 1, is effective immediately and will remain valid until August 15 or until such time that cases of local transmissions are contained or “whichever comes earlier.”

“The Municipality of Bantayan, Cebu sees the need to impose a total liquor ban as a relevant measure to prevent social gatherings in public places and amongst residences and mitigate [the] possible spread of the disease and to strongly enforce the existing policies,” reads EO No. 42.

In his EO, Despi said that the municipal government already implemented various measures like the regulation on public gatherings, the need to observe social distancing, and the prohibition against the drinking of liquor in public places, yet they continue to see a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Making matters worst is the recent discovery of nine cases of community transmissions.

READ: Bantayan town hall closed for disinfection after 2 employees test positive for COVID-19

“A total of 9 positive COVID cases of local transmission are already recorded as of date and one of the identified causes of transmission is the “tagay” sessions despite [the issuance] of an executive order prohibiting such,” the mayor’s EO said.

“It has been observed that despite our current situation in fighting the Corona Virus Disease pandemic, some of our constituents are not taking this matter seriously and are still drinking liquor in public places and in their residences, not wearing face masks and are still hosting or attending social gatherings / parties,” it added.

Despi said that more stringent measures will have to be implemented from now on to spare the majority of his townsfolk from getting the infection.

In his EO, Despi prohibits any person, wholesaler, retailer, including owners and managers of resorts ad sari-sari stores, among others, to sell, buy, offer, serve, or drink intoxicating liquor.

“Further, persons importing or purchasing liquor from other municipalities is also prohibited and is still covered by this Order.”

The mayor has directed the Philippine National Police to enforce his EO, confiscate the liquor, and file charges against the violators.

“Barangay tanods, BPATS, and BTOM are likewise mandated to implement this order in their respective Barangays and in coordination with law enforcement agencies.”

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