DAVAO CITY – Mayor Sara Duterte may lift the 24/7 liquor ban, and reopen the bustling Roxas Night Market starting September 1, months after the city government of Davao enforced strict measures to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In her interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Friday, Duterte said the local government was aiming to keep the COVID-19 cases here “low and manageable” in preparation for the gradual lifting of strict measures.
She said she wanted Dabawenyos to adjust to the new normal, getting used to the basic health protocols amid the pandemic.
She added that she might just decide to allow the selling of alcoholic drinks if the local government sees that there will be no spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.
“We are still on the liquor ban. Let’s not celebrate too much because what we have lifted is just the FM (food and medicine) pass and curfew because we want you to self-regulate,” she said.
The mayor imposed a ban on liquor on April 6, to minimize the possibility of transmitting coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during drinking sessions.
As of the July 30, Department of Health-Davao Region has reported 1,273 cases, with 48 deaths and 727 recoveries. Of the total, 856 were in Davao City, 135 in Davao del Norte, 58 in Davao del Sur, 93 in Davao de Oro, 100 in Davao Oriental, and 31 in Davao Occidental.
The mayor encouraged the people to instill self-discipline by adhering to basic health protocols, such as staying at home, wearing masks, observing physical distancing, and frequent hand washing to avoid contracting the highly infectious disease.
She said once the number of cases goes up, the local government may decide to close the city again.
“Otherwise if the cases will continue to go up, we will close again the city which is something that we do not want to happen. Nobody wants to go back to GCQ (general community quarantine), nobody wants to go back to MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine), and nobody wants to go back to ECQ (enhanced community quarantine),” she said.
The Roxas Night Market was closed on March 12, at the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, which displaced 498 food vendors and massage therapists. The night market was a popular destination for street food, ukay-ukay (used clothes), and street massage.
On September 2, 2016, a bomb exploded at the night market that killed 15 people and injured 69 others.