Assessment for bars on-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
MAYOR Mauricio Domogan said the Baguio City Government will still individually evaluate bars and restaurants allegedly violating existing city ordinances in serving liquor near schools and churches.
This after Barangay Kabayanihan through its barangay chairman Michael Karl Flores recently denied issuing barangay business clearances to at least 18 bars and restaurants for various violations that include selling liquor to minors and violating requirements of required distance from schools and religious centers like churches and mosques.
Domogan said the City Government will still determine if the bars and restaurants were already situated before the construction of schools or religious centers.
The existing ordinance or the Liquor Code, he stressed, also gives these businesses near schools and churches at least five years grace period to transfer to other locations or change their line of business.
“We have to evaluate their individual situation. We cannot generalize that they are the only ones violating [the ordinance],” he said.
The mayor said the recommendation from Kabayanihan barangay has not reached his office but promised to act on the concern of the barangay on bars and restaurants serving alcoholic drinks that are operating along Upper Mabini, Session Road and Assumption Road.
The mayor also emphasized the barangay particularly its village head cannot pinpoint only the 18 establishments in the Central Business District in the jurisdiction of the barangay that is in violation of the existing ordinance.
Domogan also cited a court decision on several bars at the Balisong-Calde building adjacent to the St. Louis School Center which was recommended for closure of the barangay with the court deciding in favor of the bar owners citing the barangay decision as selective and discriminatory.
This as he pointed out other bars, restaurants and establishments serving liquor operating near the school were not included in the list submitted by the barangay.
“Dapat kung magsara tayo ng businesses dapat lahat ng similarly situated in the area will be treated equally para hindi nila masabi na selective tayo sa implementasyon,” he stressed.
In a January 15 letter to the city mayor submitted by the barangay through Janet Aguirre of the Permits and Licensing Division, Flores said the barangay “took the initiative to identify establishments who have violated the law particularly that of the City’s Liquor Code or City Ordinance 25 series of 1987.”
Among the establishments recommended for closure by the barangay for allegedly violating the Liquor Code include Yanganot’s Bar, Sadati Bar, Logdo Bar, Orange Cafe at Upper Mabini Street; Akira Bar 1 and 2, Cherwai Bar, Kubana Koffi-Bar, Breccs Bar, Station C Bar, Triple J, Selda Otso, Selda bar, Finkles Place, Jambayan, Bohemian Cafe at Assumption Road; and Zola Bar and Restaurant along Session Road.
“Our barangay has not issued, does not intend to issue any barangay business clearance and recommends immediate closure of the establishments,” Flores said in the letter adding the existence of the establishments allegedly have effects on the peace and order of the city and their barangay.
The punong barangay also told the city mayor that actual measurements have already been done by the City Buildings and Architecture Office these businesses are allegedly within the prohibited distance requirement.
The barangay official also alleged “that records of the BCPO office show such establishments are source of all melees and physical altercations.”
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 29, 2014.