Makati City to forbid drinking outside one’s residence under certain circumstances

Published July 7, 2020, 7:24 PM

by Jel Santos

Drinking liquor outside one’s residence  will soon be prohibited in Makati City, Mayor Abigail “Abby” Binay said Tuesday (July 7).

Mayor Abby Binay

But, she clarified this policy will only be effective while the city is under a state of calamity, public health emergency, or any similar declarations.

The Makati City Council approved Ordinance No. 2020-152 to prevent situations that could further endanger lives during a crisis. The ordinance takes effect on July 14.

The ordinance seeks to protect residents from endangering themselves and others while in a drunken state during calamities and other public emergency situations. 

“Drinking in the confines of one’s own home is safer, but it’s best to avoid drinking altogether during a crisis,” Binay said. 

Under the ordinance, first-time violators face a fine of P5,000, while repeat offenders will be imprisoned and fined P5,000. 

The same ordinance prohibits drinking liquor at the point of sale, including stores and other establishments where the product was purchased.

On the other hand, tenants and guests of hotels, motels, apartments, apartelles, bed-and-breakfast inns, transient houses, dormitories, and bed spaces shall be allowed to drink only inside their own rooms or accommodations. 

Aside from the errant individual, the local government said the person in-charge of  establishments will be held liable for any violation committed on their premises, unless they exercised diligence in prohibiting such an act. 

The ordinance imposes a fine of P5,000 on the first offense; P5,000 or imprisonment for not more than one month, or both on the second offense; and P5,000 or imprisonment for not more than a year, or both at the discretion of the court, on the third and succeeding offenses.

The mayor vowed that the city will continuously shut down  Makati resto-bars hosting private dining and drinking parties which are potential hotbeds for spreading COVID-19 infection. 

“We’re clamping down on these types of gatherings where it’s difficult, if not impossible, to enforce social distancing,” she said. 

According to Binay, the city government received reports that even if bars are still prohibited from operating under general community quarantine, certain establishments are flouting IATF rules by hosting so-called “private parties” where alcohol is served to more than 10 people. 

“Ten is the maximum number of persons allowed in a gathering, but resto-bars skirt this rule by claiming they’re allowed to fill up to 50 percent of the restaurant’s capacity,” Binay said.

“The city government understands the desire of business owners to earn and survive amidst the pandemic, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of public health. We want to help them but they’re trying to be clever by circumventing rules.

Thus, establishments like Skylounge where more than 100 people were arrested during a recent drinking party won’t be tolerated,” she stressed. 

Per the city, minors caught violating the new city ordinance for the first time will be placed under the custody of the barangay head or authorized social worker.

The offender will be escorted and released to his parent or legal guardian, who will be admonished by the barangay official.

Both will undergo counselling and seminar through the Makati Social Welfare Department (MSWD). 

On the second and succeeding offenses, the parent or guardian will be fined P5,000 or imprisoned for not more than one month, or both at the discretion of the court.