Issue of December 3, 2017
     
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2017
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Uniform closing time of 2 a.m. for night establishments eyed
by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO

The city council on Monday approved on first reading a proposed ordinance to standardize the closing time for all night establishments in the city to until 2 a.m.

Proponent councilors Leandro Yangot Jr. and Elmer Datuin said there is a need to make uniform the hours of operation of all night businesses with amusement  such as bars, night clubs, discos, beer gardens, Karaoke or videoke bars, billiards, computer centers and Internet cafes to until 2 a.m. considering the city’s status as a tourist destination.

“With the tremendous influx of local and foreign tourists in the City of Baguio during vacations and long holidays, night establishments are among their favorite destinations.

However, on many occasions, owners of these establishments are constrained to request their customers to leave because of the mandated closing time as provided by the ordinance,” the aldermen noted.

“Worthy of consideration is the clamor of owners and operators of business establishments operating during nighttime that their mandated closing time under Ordinance Numbered 88, s. 1990 be revisited and revised considering that it is no longer commensurate to the operational expenses which include, among others, utility services, permit fees and other taxes, rental fees and the increase in the prices of their products and services.”

Under Ordinance 88-2009, only establishments with dancing are allowed to operate from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. while those without dancing are mandated to operate only from 3 p.m. to midnight and liquor retail is only from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In a dialogue between the members of the 300-strong Baguio Association of Bars and Entertainers (Babes) and the city government recently, Babes president Allan Bandoy expressed their clamor to have their operation extended to 2 a.m. to cater to customers, mostly tourists, availing of their services even after midnight.

He said this will enable them to recoup their operational expenses and realize more income to ensure quality service and entertainment to their clients including the provision of proper and ample security.

He also cried foul over the demeaning way some policemen were allegedly implementing the ordinance which according to him goes to the point of treating them like sidewalk vendors accosting them and banging their doors.

City Police Director Ramil Saculles assured he will not tolerate abuses among his men but said the ordinance will remain in force until amended and the association has to do its part in complying with it.

He posed a challenge to the association to ensure that each one of its members will fully comply with the ordinance to avoid problems.

“It’s up to you to think of gimmicks to make your establishments sell but as of now, we will continue to enforce the law to ensure peace and order because to us, the lives of people are the most important,” he intoned.


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