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Liquor ban in Manila not yet lifted, Isko Moreno clarifies

Liquor ban in Manila not yet lifted, Isko Moreno clarifies

MANILA, Philippines – The liquor ban in Manila, which was enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown,  has not been lifted, Mayor Isko Moreno clarified during Monday night briefing.

Moreno said City Hall had been receiving queries whether the liquor ban would be lifted with quarantine restrictions already eased down in Metro Manila.

“There are those who have been asking me: Mayor, has the liquor ban been lifted? My answer is no. I will repeat: Selling liquor is prohibited in the City of Manila,” he stressed, speaking in Filipino.

“Drinking is not prohibited,” he added. “I just don’t know how you could buy [alcoholic drinks] because it’s prohibited by the city government. And we are temporarily taking back the licenses of stores to sell liquor.”

According to Moreno, the city insists on maintaining the liquor ban because of reports that the social aid that people received from the local and national government was only being used to buy alcoholic drinks — which may only lead to quarrels in the community.

“And we don’t need that right now. What we need is unity and peace and security in the community,” he said.

Moreno warned that shops and convenience stores proven to have been selling liquors would be shut down, as the selling permits have been temporarily suspended by the city government.

“Don’t risk you closing your business because we are going to shut it down. We are very strict with this,” he said.

As Metro Manila transitioned, starting on Monday, from a modified enhanced community quarantine to a general community quarantine (GCQ), several cities lifted their liquor ban as businesses have already taken a big hit from the quarantine regulations and other government policies implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

and , among others, have lifted their liquor ban but still prohibit drinking in public places like bars and restaurants.

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